Murder at the Bijou (originally titled Nothing More Than Murder) is noir master Jim Thompson's dizzying tale of deception, adultery, revenge, arson, and cold-blooded murder in Smalltown, U.S.A., Thompson's favorite setting. In this novel, Thompson's first major success as a pulp fiction writer, Joe Wilmot, trying to go straight after a stretch in the pen, finds a movie house in a small crossroads that can use a helping hand and someone with half a brain for business. The theater's owner, Elizabeth, isn't the smartest operator around - or is she? Joe and the plain Jane Elizabeth decide maybe it would be better for business if they got married. Why not? And then Carol shows up, a bit stale in the eye candy department but ready and willing to serve - in every way.
They've got insurance coverage on the movie house; their lives would all be better if the place maybe had an accident, a little fire. But things can go very wrong. And in Murder at the Bijou they do.
Fans of Jim Thompson will recognize the terse dialogue, plot twists and double-crosses, and a belief that nothing in the world is good, all of which makes Stephen King say that Jim Thompson is "My favorite crime novelist - often imitated but never duplicated."
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Murder At The Bijou
Only heard 2, this was 2nd best to The Killing
excellent characters and very suspenseful
Listened to 1 other and both had excellent narration.
- Roy Bonario
Hysterican twist and turns noir mystery!
Murder at the Bijou is a story based in the 40's, where Joe Wilmot runs a cheap yet popular movie show in his small town. Since a noir novel always involves villians and damsels in distress, Joe has a lover in addiition to his homely wife as well as a millionaire competitor angling for his share of the theatre business. Hilarity ensues when there is murder, bribery, and double cross left and right.
Surprise ending! Thought I had it in the bag when in reality no one could have predicted this ending.
I have listened to and will continue to listen to Mike Dennis' performances. He has a perfect voice for noir.
I laughed through the entire book--it was so visual for me. I pictured black and white characters in hats and rain coats and 40's era swing skirt dresses and pumps.