An Expert in Murder
An Expert in Murder is the first in a new series which features crime writer Josephine Tey as its lead character.
It’s March, 1934, and Tey is travelling from Scotland to London for the final week of her celebrated play, Richard of Bordeaux – but joy turns to horror when her arrival coincides with murder.
Detective Inspector Archie Penrose is convinced that the killing is connected to the play. Richard of Bordeaux has been the surprise hit of the season, with pacifist themes which strike a chord in a world still haunted by war, but now it seems that Josephine Tey could become the victim of her own success, as her reputation – and even her life - are put at risk.
A second murder confirms Penrose’s suspicions that somewhere amongst this flamboyant theatre set is a ruthless and spiteful killer. As his investigations lead him from the romance of the West End to the stark reality of the trenches, he and Tey must confront their own ghosts in a search for someone who will stop at nothing to right the wrongs of a past generation
Cleverly blending elements of the Golden Age author’s real life with a fictional murder mystery, An Expert in Murder is both a tribute to one of the most enduringly popular writers of crime and a richly atmospheric detective novel in its own right.
'A new and assured talent... Nicola Upson has not only given us a highly original and elegantly-written novel, but also the promise that her hero, Detective Inspector Archie Penrose, will continue his career and join the ranks of famous and well-loved police detectives.' PD James
'An ingenious concept, beautifully realised.' Reginald Hill
'A clever and evocative debut.' Mark Lawson, Guardian
'A satisfying array of backstage jealousies, betrayals, long-buried family secrets, adultery, illegitimacy and the tragic consequences of the first world war.' The Times
'[A] blithely spirited debut...shot through with palpable surprise and emotion.' Los Angeles Times
'An obvious work of love, An Expert in Murder is also a distinguished debut with great promise. Tey fans will devour it in one long night. And who could blame them, for in Upson's deft hands, the Golden Age is recalled to life with authenticity and civility.' Richmond Times-Dispatch
'Chilling and clever.' Linda Fairstein
An Expert in Murder was dramatised by BBC Radio Scotland for the Woman's Hour Serial in April, adapted by Robin Brooks and produced by Gaynor Macfarlane. Click here to listen to a documentary on the making of the programme, produced by Mandy Morton and first broadcast on The Eclectic Light Show, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
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