By John King Tarpinian: This limited edition is a three book omnibus of previously published mystery novels plus the short story from which the title comes, Where Everything Ends. The short story has never appeared in any anthology before. It was the inspiration for Rays’ foray into mystery novel writing. I have a personal attachment to two of these three novels. My paternal grandparents are interred in the real Graveyard for Lunatics. I’ve had the honor of sitting with Mr. Bradbury, outside the cemetery as he told me the story of the graveyard that became the novel. This was shortly after a visit from his friend of over 70 years, Ray Harryhausen. An in-law, Thaddeus Lowe, is mentioned in Let’s All Kill Constance.
Death is a Lonely Business, originally published in 1985 and set in 1949. The story of a series of murders set in Venice, California, where Bradbury lived from 1942 to 1950. In the course of the story we meet Elmo Crumley, a detective who helps our narrator ( Ray’s persona) solve the mystery behind all the murders, or are they, occurring among a series of eccentric characters.
A Graveyard for Lunatics originally published in 1990 and set in 1954. A writer at a Hollywood motion picture studio, Maximus Films, is the narrator. (Ray’s persona again) The story was inspired by Bradbury’s experiences working on the movies It Came from Outer Space, King of Kings, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. (For King of Kings Ray wrote the narration which was read by Orson Wells, both of which are not credited in the film.) The studio adjoins a cemetery (Paramount Studios really does adjoin the Hollywood Forever Cemetery). The story takes place at the studio and the cemetery. Two of the novel’s characters are based on friend’s of Bradbury; Roy Holdstrom is Ray Harryhausen and director Fritz Wong, is Fritz Lang. As a teenager, Ray Bradbury used to wait outside movie studios as he tried to collect autographs.
Let’s All Kill Constance, originally published in 2002 and set in 1960. An aging Hollywood actress, Constance Rattigan, gives private investigator Elmo Crumley two death lists of once-famous people; with Constance’s name on one of them. The hunt is on from there with the narrator (you guessed it, Ray’s persona) visiting the listed people in order, all of whom die under mysterious circumstances shortly thereafter. Did Constance do it? Is there somebody cleaning up an old mess?
Where Everything Ends By Ray Bradbury
Dust jacket by Jon Foster
Hardcover: $50 (limited to 500)
Length: 784 pages
Expected to ship in December