Top positive review
31 people found this helpful
The FIRST Detective Story....
on November 25, 2002
I must have read Neil Gaiman's short story Murder Mysteries four or five times since I originally encountered it; It's been featured, and rightfully so, in many short story collections. It's one of Gaiman's best, most thought-provoking works, and since Gaiman is one of the best storytellers around, that's really saying something. P. Craig Russell is one of the masters of the comic book art form, and he especially excels at adaptations of fantasy, having previously done Wagner's Ring Cycle, Michael Moorcock's Elric, and numerous Oscar Wilde stories. Gaiman and Russell collaborated on what many consider to be the best issue of Gaiman's DC/Vertigo Sandman book, and Russell has adapted a few other Gaiman short stories (One Life, Furnished In Early Moorcock, and Only The End Of The World Again). Murder Mysteries stands as a high-water mark, in my opinion.
The story-within-a-story, told by a homeless man to a visiting Englishman in L.A., tells of the first murder ever: An Angel killed in "The Shining City"; Our homeless storyteller is in reality the Angel Raguel, the vengeance of "The Name" (God). Raguel becomes, in effect, the first Detective, attempting to discover a motive that can lead to bringing the killer to justice.
Gaiman's story works on many levels, and I have to say that as much as I loved the prose short story, the ending has always left me vaguely puzzled; It's a very involved and thought-provoking piece, and I often find myself thinking about the ending. Russell's adaptation went a long way towards making that ambiguous ending more clear. It turns out I was on the right track, but Russell's visuals make the ending more visceral and powerful.
Murder Mysteries is presented in a gorgeous hardcover format, much the same as Dark Horse's previous Gaiman/ John Bolton book, Harlequin Valentine. This is a must read for all fans of Horror/Fantasy, as well as lovers of beautiful art. It deserves as wide an audience as possible. Give it a try, and spread the word.