The So Blue Marble by Dorothy B. Hughes

American Mystery 5

Available now

Three well-heeled villains terrorize New York’s high society in pursuit of a rare and powerful gem

The society pages announce it before she even arrives: Griselda Satterlee, daughter of the princess of Rome, has left her career as an actress behind, traveling to Manhattan to reinvent herself as a fashion designer. They also announce the return of the dashing Montefierrow twins to New York after a twelve year sojourn in Europe. But there is much more to the story than what’s reported, which becomes clear when the three meet one evening during a walk, exchanging polite conversation that quickly turns threatening. The twins are seeking a rare and powerful gem, and they believe it’s stashed away in the unused apartment where Griselda is staying. Baffled by the request, she pushes them away, but they won’t take no for an answer. When they come back later, accompanied by her diabolical and long-estranged younger sister, the murders begin… And as the mad pursuit progresses, the mannered world of Griselda and her circle crumbles away, revealing a sordid realm of deception beneath. She’s accustomed to being written up in the newspaper but, unless she can elude the devilish trio, the next time she makes headlines might be her last.

Drenched in the glamour and luxury of the New York elite, The So Blue Marble is a perfectly Art Deco suspense novel in which nothing is quite as it seems. While different in style from her later books, Hughes’s debut highlights her greatest strengths as an author, rendered with both the poetic language and the psychology of fear for which she is known today.

“You will have to read [The So Blue Marble] for yourself, and if you wake up in the night screaming with terror, don’t say we didn’t warn you.” The New York Times Book Review

“[Hughes’s] novels are carefully crafted pieces, ahead of their time in their use of psychological suspense and their piercing observations about class and race. She was among the best.” —Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins novels

Click here to learn more about Dorothy B. Hughes.

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