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An Absolute Gentleman

A Novel

List Price: $14.00

October 9, 2007 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.25, 304 Pages | ISBN 9781582433882
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"...a pitch-perfect rendition of the cunning malevolence that can lie hidden beneath the guise of refined civility." —Booklist Starred Review

A gripping first novel, based on the author’s real-life relationship with a convicted murderer, that delves with subtlety and nuance rather than violence and sensationalism into the mind of a serial killer.

Meet Arthur Blume: charming guy, small-town college English professor, struggling writer, and occasional murderer. In this chilling debut novel, acclaimed author R.M. Kinder draws on her firsthand experience of dating a convicted murderer to brilliantly channel the voice of a polite, even sympathetic man who just happens to be a serial killer.

An Absolute Gentleman opens in a prison cell, where Arthur Blume is hard at work writing an account of his life-one stained in places with abuse and cruelty, but also characterized by everyday banality. Only as the plot unravels do the chinks in Arthur’s armor of normality begin to surface, and the monster beneath the pleasant façade appears as Arthur closes in on his next victim.

About R.M. Kinder

R.M. KINDER won the 2005 University of Michigan prize for A Near-Perfect Gift, a collection of short stories. Another collection, Sweet Angel Band, was awarded the Willa Cather Award in 1991. R.M. Kinder’s prose has also appeared in Other VoicesShort Story, and the New York Times. The author holds an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. She currently resides in Warrensburg, Missouri.


“Inspired by her own brush with a serial killer, Kinder has created a fictional representation that is chilling in its normalcy, haunting in its intensity, and stunning in its portrayal of sheer, sadistic madness… a pitch-perfect rendition of the cunning malevolence that can lie hidden beneath the guise of refined civility.” —Booklist Starred Review

“You may never look quite the same way at that punctilious little man down the street after reading this chilling first novel from Kinder… this artfully told tale of psychological suspense is as gripping as the spider webs Blume is so fond of studying.” —Publishers Weekly

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