Death Is a Lonely Business
First edition cover
|Cover artist||Fred Marcellino|
|Publisher||Alfred A. Knopf|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-394-54702-0 (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Class||PS3503.R167 D3 1985|
|Followed by||A Graveyard for Lunatics|
Death Is a Lonely Business is a mystery novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1985. The story, set in 1949, is about a series of murders that happen in Venice, California, then a declining seaside community in Los Angeles where Bradbury lived from 1942 to 1950. The main character and narrator (who never mentions his name) is a sensitive, modest writer, with a girlfriend studying in Mexico City. In the course of the story he meets Elmo Crumley, a detective who helps him solve the mystery behind all the semi-murders occurring among a series of eccentric characters in the forgotten town.
According to the biography in the book, this was Ray Bradbury's first novel since the publication of Something Wicked This Way Comes (not counting the young adult novel The Halloween Tree). It evokes both the milieu and style of other mystery writers Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Ross Macdonald, all of whom Bradbury names in the book's dedication, and James Crumley, after whom Bradbury named his detective. Yet the main character is undoubtedly Bradbury himself, portrayed in a period of his life just before his marriage and his success with The Martian Chronicles.
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