Three stories starring Simon Ark--one of history's most unusual detectivesIn a college in upstate New York, a professor is carrying out devilish experiments. At Grand Central Station, a student named Cathy Clark corners a friend of her sister's who runs a large publishing company. She tells him of the evil at Baine University, but he dismisses her panic as undergraduate paranoia, so Cathy vows to take matters into her own hands. A few weeks later, she appears in the paper: gunned down on the side of the road.The only man fit to unravel the mystery is Simon Ark, a friend of the publisher and an aficionado of the peculiar. A two-thousand-year-old Coptic priest, cursed at the Crucifixion to spend eternity wandering the earth, Ark has seen all that the world has to offer. But in these three stories, he will encounter things that even he could never have imagined.
From the back cover NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Northmont, Connecticut during the 1920s. A sleepy New England community of shops, farms, white churches, and red schoolhouses. But when Sam Hawthorne became Northmont's doctor in 1922, he found an eerie town of ghosts and demons. Or so it seemed. Now, fortified with a "small-ah-libation," he tells visitors about how he used logic and reason to challenge the apparently impossible in twelve cases including-
Two computer cops race to protect a presidential election against tamperingRadiation leaks in Chicago. Assassination attempts on Venus. Bombings in Washington, DC. Any crime that involves a computer falls under the jurisdiction of New York's Computer Investigation Bureau, and in the far-off days of the mid-twenty-first century, more criminals rely on digital tools than ever before. For Earl Jazine and Carl Crader, technology is not just their beat; it is their best weapon in the war against mayhem.Today, mayhem takes the form of a threat to the nation's electronic voting system. Thousands of ballots have been programmed into the FRIDAY-404 election machine, pledging votes to Jason Blunt and Stanley Ambrose--two men who aren't even running for president. Jazine and Crader have only a few weeks until election day, but they must put an end to this audacious fraud before democracy itself goes up in a puff of pixelated smoke.
On a remote jungle island, a scientist toys with cryogenics and brain transplantsHorseshoe Island lies just a few miles off the coast of Baja California, Mexico--impossibly far from the laws of the United States. Here, a doctor named Hobbes has built his labs to perform experiments on bodies cryogenically frozen for two decades or longer. He plans to heal those whom the medicine of the past was helpless to save, and his experiments may hold the key to endless life--or eternal damnation.Earl Jazine, of the newly formed Computer Investigation Bureau, is sent to Horseshoe Island to investigate the good doctor. Posing as a photographer, he is invited to document the island's most audacious experiment yet--a brain transplant from a dead man's body to a healthy, living one. But when members of the research team begin disappearing, Jazine learns that on Horseshoe Island, there is no law--natural or unnatural--that cannot be broken by Dr. Hobbes.
Five classic tales of murderous evil--and the immortal who was chosen to fight for what is rightIn a small town near Washington, DC, seventy-three villagers make the spontaneous decision to leap from a cliff to their deaths. They leave no explanation behind, but local rumor suggests they were being manipulated by an ancient, evil power. In a monastery in West Virginia, a monk fears his brothers--and is finally pushed from the window of one of the towers. And in a town in Westchester County, New York, a self-proclaimed witch casts a spell on a group of female college students.These are strange cases, seemingly beyond the grasp of reason--and perfect fodder for Simon Ark. A Coptic priest of the ancient world, he was condemned after the Crucifixion to live forever, wandering the earth and rooting out evil. And in the small, shadowy corners of small-town America, he will encounter great evil indeed.
When the homicide boys are baffled, only Captain Leopold can unravel the mysteryOn his way to the circus, a young boy named Tommy pauses for fifteen minutes in a grassy vacant lot. It begins to rain, and by the time the storm has passed, Tommy is dead in the tall grass, strangled with a strong piece of rope. Police suspicion falls on a shifty ex-con employed by the circus, but Captain Leopold isn't satisfied with this too-simple solution. Something strange happened in that vacant lot, and it will take a moment of brilliance to divine what it was.Luckily, Captain Leopold has brilliance to spare. In these stories, he confronts dozens of fiendish puzzles, each murder more astonishing than the last. He is a lonely man, and his city is a cruel one, but only Leopold has the wit to find out the truth.
An incredible assortment of stories from one of history's masters of short fictionOn the morning of the merger, fog shrouds the offices of Jupiter Steel. On the twenty-first floor, the board of directors gathers to follow the commands of Billy Calm, an unequaled titan of finance. But a few minutes before the meeting, Calm jumps out a window. The chief of security rushes to the street, but where there should be a body, he sees only slush; Billy Calm has vanished into the fog."The Long Way Down" is a classic Edward D. Hoch story--elegantly baffling, with prose that will please even the most hard-boiled fans. But this collection contains much more than puzzles. Here are the odds and ends of Hoch's early work, covering espionage, boxing, and every shade of noir--as beautiful as the fog, and as chilling as the first step off the ledge.
Twenty tales of deceit, murder, and madness from the king of short mysteriesThey find the third body facedown in the wet grass, its head nearly split in half by the axe. The psychopath has claimed three in twenty-four hours--a sickening toll that forces the police department to let the aging Inspector Fleming stave off retirement for one more case. The cop races to catch the axe maniac before he kills again, lest this final assignment become the one that ruins his career.There are killers in many of the stories in this collection, and a few great detectives, too. There is a gang of old war buddies who have decided to pick up their guns again, a scientist murdered in the wilds of Canada, two hundred miles from civilization, and a young office worker convinced she's being followed by a man with bushy eyebrows. Edward D. Hoch understands crime, and knows that evil often lurks behind the kindest smiles.
When ancient evil emerges, it can only be stopped by a two-thousand-year-old sleuthTen years ago, Douglas Zadig emerged from the mist on an English moor, his clothes tattered, his speech slurred, and his mind completely blank. Since then, he has reinvented himself as an expert on good and evil, publishing book after book of a philosophy that is entirely lifted from the ancient writings of Zoroaster. Zadig comes to Maine on the lecture circuit, and in the frigid northern winter, just as suddenly as he first appeared, he is killed.The case fascinates Simon Ark, a two-thousand-year-old Coptic priest on a ceaseless quest to hunt out the world's ultimate evil. In "The Man from Nowhere" and the other stories in this volume, Ark flits from murder to murder, seeking supernatural explanations for the crimes. But as he knows all too well, no mystical force can compete with the evil inside the souls of men.
At a gathering of the nation's foremost mystery authors, death takes the stageDozens die each year for the sake of the annual Mystery Writers of America banquet. Heiresses are poisoned, captains of industry are stabbed, and private detectives are gunned down in the street. To mystery authors, these fictional murders are nothing but good fun. But at the annual presentation of the MWA's prestigious Edgar and Raven awards, real-life death is about to intrude.Ross Craigthorn's nightly news program has made him one of the most well-respected men in the country, but deep in his past lies a terrible secret--one he shares with only a few others. They have done their best to forget their long-ago crime, but when Craigthorn decides to come clean, his old accomplice knows that the time has come for murder. When a room full of mystery authors witnesses a killing, which of them will have the nerve to play detective?
A dozen marvelous tales of deduction, featuring history's most famous detectiveIn a heavily mortgaged country house, an heiress's sinister guardian attempts to trap her in a bedroom with a rare Indian swamp adder--a murder averted only by the timely intervention of Sherlock Holmes. Five months after the events of "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," Holmes and Watson are called back to Stoke Moran by a frightened gypsy who claims that the viper has gotten loose again. Holmes is unsure which poses a greater danger: the rumored snake, or the possibility that the gypsy is telling lies.In these dozen tales, short story master Edward D. Hoch resurrects the most brilliant mind in the history of detective fiction. In the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes tangles with circus tigers, Druidic curses, and a pair of Christmas killings. Here is the finest detective of the Victorian age--recreated by one of the greatest mystery writers of the twentieth century.
A double-barreled collection--two of Edward D. Hoch's most ingenious creationsIn the headquarters of Britain's Foreign Office, a secretary spies a television actor making a copy of a top-secret key. In an island republic, an intelligence operative is murdered just minutes before exposing a Communist mole. And in a bustling eastern city, the Cold War reaches a turning point over a piece of film the size of a pinhead. These are cases for C. Jeffery Rand, the fixer inside Britain's secret service. He is bright, ruthless, and smart enough never to be surprised by the depths to which an enemy spy might sink.Where Jeffery Rand is hard-nosed, Nick Velvet has a supple touch. A master thief, Velvet has a particular skill for stealing unusual items. Where ordinary thieves might be content with jewels or bank notes, Velvet pilfers rare tigers, water from swimming pools, and the letters on a company sign.In this collection, you will find seven stories of Rand and seven of Velvet--two brilliant men, one on either side of the law, each with a knack for doing the impossible.
In the thick of the Cold War, a British spy will do anything to keep the peaceFather Howard steps off the plane in Albania, relieved to be out of China at last, but knowing that until he reaches Paris, he is not safe from the Communists. As he makes his way across the tarmac, two bullets strike him in the back of the head. The missionary is no more. The incident prompts an unprecedented meeting between C. Jeffery Rand, fixer for the British secret service, and his counterpart inside Soviet Russia. Seeking an ally to fight a common enemy, Russia enlists Rand's help in its clash against the Chinese. Rand will do all he can to avenge the murdered priest--but how much can he trust the Soviet agent?In these stories, Rand lives with the daily threat of betrayal. He knows two things are true: There is no honor among spies, and the safest agent is the one who trusts no one.
Thirteen stories of outrageous heists starring one smooth thiefThe dictator of the island of Jabali wants a baseball team, and he doesn't care how he gets it. He has assembled nine of the finest players on the island, and is about to hire Nick Velvet to steal him some competition. Ordinary thieves might not be up to pinching a whole ball club, but Velvet specializes in lifting seemingly worthless items, and in this year's National League, there is nothing more worthless than the hapless Beavers. He steals them easily--but will the island's ruler be satisfied with a last-place team?In these charming stories starring one of Edward D. Hoch's most popular characters, everything is up for grabs. Velvet steals sea serpents, garbage, cats, and toy mice--all with his trademark low-key style. In Nick Velvet's underworld, there is nothing he won't steal, so long as it's priceless, worthless, or just plain crazy.
13 short stories from mystery magazines, all involving thefts.
When a government official dies on the operating table, the president calls in the computer copsOn Venus, a radical exile escapes from a maximum-security prison, pledging to return to Washington and assassinate the president. Transport between Earth and the solar colonies is tightly regulated, but the exile knows a shortcut: the top-secret transvection machine, an experimental device that could theoretically be used to teleport men from planet to planet. Vander Defoe, the tool's creator, is busy securing it when he feels a pain in his stomach: His appendix is about to explode.Defoe dies in the operating room during routine computerized surgery, and the case falls in the lap of the Computer Investigation Bureau, which has jurisdiction over all computer-related crimes. As the team tries to determine who corrupted the system that killed Defoe, it finds that in this case, all roads lead to Venus.
Nick Velvet is the choosey crook, who steals only the seeminglyvalueless - for a hefty fee of course. In The Velvet Touch, Nick steals a bald man's comb, a faded flag, an overdue library book, an ordinary playing card, a menu -- and 9 other items While engaged in pilfering, Nick finds that he often has to become a detective, sometimes in order to save Sandra Paris, the White Queen, who is also a thief -- a mistress of bizarre crimes, who does "Impossible Things Before Breakfast." Nick Velvet and Sandra Paris sometimes compete, sometimes work together - as in the theft of a snake-charmer's basket on the front cover.
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