Thursday 30 December 2021

Books to Look Forward to From Allison & Busby

January 2022 

Murder at the National Gallery is by Jim Eldridge. London 1899. The Museum Detectives Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton have been contacted by the curator of the National Gallery. He is getting in touch at the request of the artist, Walter Sickert, famously suspected of being Jack the Ripper for many years. The dead body of a young woman, who had been an artist''s model, has been found at the back of the Gallery. She had been eviscerated and Sickert has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.Although he is soon released, when a second similar murder occurs, Sickert is once again implicated. The murders are copycats of the original Ripper murders, but the details of those crimes were publicised so heavily in the newspapers at the time that most people would know them. Sickert insists he is innocent, but who would want to frame the famous artist?   Wilson and Fenton have their work cut out …

Persimmon ‘Simmy’ Brown’s wedding day to Christopher Henderson has arrived on a glorious summer’s day in the pretty Lake District village of Threlkeld. While the day passes off without undue calamity, later when most of the guests have departed, a young man is found nearby, possibly the victim of a vicious attack. The mystery of the attack is complicated by pressure on police resources. Was it an accident or something far more sinister? Speculation is rife as to what precisely happened and a chilling suspicion develops into a theory that might be impossible to prove. The Threlkeld Theory is by Rebecca Tope.

February 2022

A Devon's Night Death is by Stephanie Austin. In the Dartmoor town of Ashburton, reluctant antique shop owner and accidental amateur sleuth, Juno Browne, has cash-flow problems. So, when the mild and gentlemanly bookbinder, Frank Tinkler, rents a room above the shop, he seems like the answer to a prayer. At home, Juno accidentally disturbs intruders and shortly afterwards, one of them falls to his death from a viaduct. Was it accident, suicide or murder? When Juno recognises his accomplice as Frank's nephew, Scott, she decides to investigate.

March 2022

September, 1942. Jo Hardy, an Air Transport Auxiliary ferry pilot, is delivering a Spitfire when she has the unnerving experience of someone shooting at her aircraft. A few days later she hears that another ferry pilot has been killed when her aircraft crashed in the same area of Kent. Although the death has been attributed to 'pilot error', Jo is convinced there is a link between the two incidents. Jo takes her suspicions to Maisie Dobbs and while Maisie wants to find out why someone appears to want to take down much-needed pilots, she finds it is part of a much larger operation involving Eleanor Roosevelt, the American president's First Lady. To protect Eleanor's life - and possibly the safety of everyone in London - Maisie must quickly uncover the connection. A Sunlit Weapon is by Jacqueline Winspear.

April 2022

Murder at Claridge's is by Jim Eldridge. One of the Claridge's kitchen porters is found dead - strangled. He was a recent employee who claimed to be Romanian, but evidence suggests he may have been German. Detective Chief Inspector Coburg has to find out exactly who he was, and what he was doing at Claridge's under a false identity. Once he has established those facts, he might get an insight into why he was killed, and who by. Coburg's job is complicated by the fact that so many of the hotel's residents are exiled European royalty. King George of Greece is registered as 'Mr Brown' and even the Duke of Windsor is staying, though without Wallis Simpson. Clandestine affairs, furtive goings-on and conspiracies against the government: Coburg must tread very lightly indeed .

May 2022

The Daughter is by Liz Webb. I lean in and whisper the question I have never let myself utter in twenty-three years. "Dad, did you murder Mum?" Hannah Davidson has a dementia-stricken father, an estranged TV star brother, and a mother whose death opened up hidden fault lines beneath the ordinary surface of their family life. Hannah is losing her grip on both a cache of shameful secrets and her drinking, and her habit of gorging on almost inedible quince makes it patently clear that her life is a mess. Now the spitting image of Jen Davidson and exactly the same age she was when she died, Hannah is determined to uncover exactly what happened to her mum. But the boundaries between mother and daughter soon become blurred and Hannah discovers that she may not win the dangerous game she's playing.

June 2022

Bad For Good is by Graham Bartlett. How far would you go to avenge your son's murder? The murder of a promising footballer and, crucially, the son of the Brighton's Chief Superintendent, means DS Jo Howe has a complicated and politically sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more thorny with the addition of devastating blackmail and the threat of vigilante action. In a world coloured by power grabs and corruption, Howe finds that she can trust no one as she tracks a brutal killer and tries to stop Brighton descending into violence.

Godfrey Bowyer, the best but least likeable bow maker in Worcester, dies of poisoning, though his wife Blanche survives. The number of people who could have administered the poison should mean a very short investigation for Bradecote and Catchpoll, but perhaps someone was pulling the strings, and that widens the net considerably. Could it be the cast-out younger brother or perhaps Orderic the Bailiff, whose wife may have had to endure Godfrey's attentions? Could it even be the wife herself? With Bradecote eager to return to his manor and worried about his wife's impending confinement, and Walkelin trying to get his mother to accept his choice of bride, there are distractions aplenty, though Serjeant Catchpoll will not let them get in the way of solving this case. A Taste for Killing is by Sarah Hawkswood.

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