An Unexplained Death
The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere
This program is read by the author.
An Unexplained Death is an obsessive investigation into a mysterious death at the Belvedere—a once-grand hotel—and a poignant, gripping meditation on suicide and voyeurism.
“The poster is new. I notice it right away, taped to a utility pole. Beneath the word ‘Missing,’ printed in a bold, high-impact font, are two sepia-toned photographs of a man dressed in a bow tie and tux.”
Most people would keep walking. Maybe they’d pay a bit closer attention to the local news that evening. Mikita Brottman spent ten years sifting through the details of the missing man’s life and disappearance, and his purported suicide by jumping from the roof of her own apartment building, the Belvedere.
As Brottman delves into the murky circumstances surrounding Rey Rivera’s death—which begins to look more and more like a murder—she contemplates the nature of and motives behind suicide, and uncovers a haunting pattern of guests at the Belvedere, when it was still a historic hotel, taking their own lives on the premises. Finally, she fearlessly takes us to the edge of her own morbid curiosity and asks us to consider our own darker impulses and obsessions.
In The News
Praise for Mikita Brottman:
“Idiosyncratic…poignant…When Brottman writes, she’s a virtuoso: poised and sure-footed, confident and graceful, witty and relaxed.” —Baltimore Sun
"[A] fascinating and unvarnished book about criminals as rough-hewn literary critics. I tore through The Maximum Security Book Club." —Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water
“Filled with marvelous anecdotes and insights, The Great Grisby...explores human-dog bonds in history, art, mythology and literature… lively.” —The New York Times Book Review