William F. Deeck

LUCY CORES – Corpse de Ballet. Duell Sloane & Pearce, hardcover, 1944. Collier, paperback, 1965. Rue Morgue Press, trade paperback, 2004 (shown).

   The first, and last, time he danced in his own ballet creation “Phoebus,” Izlomin went mad before its completion. Now cured, he plans to re-create his masterwork for the American Ballet Drama in New York City. This time he finishes the performance, but then apparently commits suicide by hanging himself.

   With the aid of Toni Ney, trained as a ballet dancer but who now writes an exercise column, Captain Andrew Torrant of New York’s finest investigates the circumstances surrounding Izlomin’s death and discovers a hotbed of intrigue and jealousy in the world of professional ballet,

   Balletomanes should appreciate this novel. I enjoyed it from the ballet aspect but found it otherwise lackluster.

— Reprinted from MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 1990, “Musical Mysteries.”

Bibliographic Notes:  Lucy Cores has four entries in Al Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV. Corpse de Ballet was her second, with Painted for the Kill (1943) her first, also a case solved by both Toni Ney and Captain Tarrant. These were the protagonists’ only two appearances; both books are easily available from Rue Morgue Press.

   For more on Lucy Cores, the author herself, follow this link to the Rue Morgue website for a long biography of her.