Most of the renowned writers who made up New Yorks notorious Algonquin Round Table in the 1920s are remembered today not just for the caustic wit that led them to dub their group "The Vicious Circle," but also for the essays, plays, and literary fiction they produced during its heyday. Less well known is that some Round Table regularswho included humorists Robert Benchley and S. J.
Perelman, playwrights Marc Connelly and George S. Kaufman, novelist Edna Ferber, critic Alexander Woollcott and, most famously, Dorothy Parkerdabbled in crime writing as well. Edgar Awardwinning mystery editor Otto Penzler (Best American Mystery Stories of the Year, The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps) gathers these stories, satires, and sketches together for the first time in The Vicious Circle, a volume whose twelve selections showcase the cleverness and sophistication of the Round Table raconteurs, including "Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer," S.
J. Perelmans snickering send-up of the hardboiled detective genre "Moonlight Sonata," Alexander Woollcotts ghoulish black comedy of a British manor house and its resident psychopath "The Man Who Came Back," Edna Ferbers study of embezzlement and romance" "The Mystery of the Poisoned Kipper," Robert Benchleys absurd tale of an equally absurd murder If youre in the mood for classy mysteries touched with wit, heres a book whose contents will amuse as well as thrill.