Hake Talbot wrote only two mystery novels: Rim of the Pit is his masterpiece, an “impossible crime” that takes place in the far north where snow surrounds a group of desperate people, one of whom is bent on murder. The mapback cover from the 1950’s Dell paperback is one of the best crime maps ever drawn. In addition, this book contains a short story by Talbot called “The Other Side”.
In 1944 Hake Talbot wrote his masterpiece, a locked room mystery about a group of people stuck at a snow-surrounded lodge in Canada. An excellent map of the area shows just how claustrophobic snow can be.
Jacket design by Gavin L. O’Keefe
Hake Talbot is a pen name of the American writer Henning Nelms (1900-1986). Talbot was chiefly known for his impossible crime, locked room mystery novel Rim of the Pit (1944). Nelms reserved his real name for writing non-fiction about showmanship (his chief occupation was as a stage magician). He was the author of the book Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers (1969). During a 1981 poll by experts arranged by Edward D. Hoch, for the preface of his anthology All But Impossible!, Talbot’s Rim of the Pit stood second, next only to John Dickson Carr’s The Hollow Man (1935) as the best locked room mystery. Another novel, The Hangman’s Handyman, which Talbot wrote in 1942, was not as successful. He also wrote two short stories, “The High House” and “The Other Side”. (Source: Wikipedia)