Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly

John Franklin Bardin


“What if your husband had fallen in love with someone else?” Dr. Danzer had asked her gently. “Would that be so terrible?”
      New York, 1946, and Ellen is returning home to Basil after the breakdown that has interrupted her career as one of the city’s most gifted concert harpsichordists. Over the next terrifying weeks, John Franklin Bardin’s finest novel plays a virtuoso performance on themes of music and madness, unfolding an unforgettable thriller-nightmare in which Ellen is both the criminal — and the agonized victim.
      Julian Symons commended this novel with the following review: “One of the most convincing and frightening ‘psychological’ crime stories ever written. Bardin was ahead of his time. He belongs not to the world of Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr, but to that of Patricia Highsmith and Edgar Allan Poe.”
      This new edition of Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly features a new introduction by Frank Bardin, John Franklin Bardin’s son, and the first part of an unfinished novel, “Black Counted Fair,” published here for the first time anywhere.
      Combined with cover art by Dan Rempel, this new edition of Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly is essential noir reading.
      Perhaps just as important, this publication of Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly marks its first-ever U.S. hardcover appearance!

edition information

  • New introduction by Frank Bardin.
  • Signed by Frank Bardin and cover artist Dan Rempel.
  • Facsimile signature by John Franklin Bardin.
  • 300 signed copies.
  • Bound in full black cloth.
  • Patterned endpapers.
  • Head and tail bands.
  • 5½ × 8½ inches.
  • 248 pages.
  • Published December 2020.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-268-2.