The Devil's Right Hand chroniclesthe legacy of death and destruction in the gunmaking Colt family during the nineteenth century, a legacy largely remembered for a lurid murder case that inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Oblong Box”—but one that encompassed much more. . .
New York Times and nationally bestselling author M. William Phelps reveals an unfathomable pattern surrounding repeating arms inventor Samuel Colt—from the death of all his children, including Sam’s sea captain son’s mysterious demise aboard his yacht, to the eccentric life of his widow. But the tip of this iceberg was the 1841-42 murder case of brother John C. Colt, one of New York’s most sensational scandals. Printer Samuel Adams went to collect a debt from bookkeeper and author John Colt and was never seen alive again. Shocking revelations followed: Did John shoot Adams with one of his brother’s Colt firearms before hacking him up and packing him in an oblong box? Did Sam Colt invent the revolving pistol, or steal the idea?
Part historical true-crime, part family biography and cultural history, The Devil’s Right Hand is a stirring narrative about a darkly cursed American dynasty.
M. William Phelps is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy, the nationally bestselling author of more than twenty other nonfiction books, and star of the Investigation Discovery series, “Dark Minds.” Winner of the 2008 New England Book Festival Award for I’ll Be Watching You, Phelps—in addition to writing his popular contemporary true-crime books—has written for the Providence Journal, Hartford Courant, New London Day, and consulted on the first season of the Showtime series “Dexter.” He is also the author of The Devil’s Rooming House, Jane Doe No More, and Murder, New England (all from Lyons Press). He lives in a small Connecticut farming community.
Praise for M. William Phelps
“Phelps is the best in the business! A historical crime master.”
—New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen