Who in the quiet village of Chipping would kill wealthy spinster Idris Campanula? Plenty of people—among them her fellow cast members from a troubled charity production. Miss Campanula was a spiteful gossip, gleefully destroying others’ lives merely for her own excitement. But once Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives, he quickly realizes that the murderer might have killed the wrong woman—and may soon stage a repeat performance.
Agatha Raisin's detective agency has become so successful that now all she wants is some R&R. But as soon as she cuts back her hours, Agatha remembers that when she has too much quality time, she doesn't know what to do with it. So it doesn't take much for the vicar of a nearby village to persuade her to help publicize the church fete, especially when the fair's organizer, George Selby, happens to be a gorgeous widower.
"Agatha is growing up..."
A man dies with his hand on a radio dial. A distinguished aristocrat finds murder at the opening night of a play. A cryptogram produces death in an English churchyard. Death on the Air and Other Stories serves as the perfect introduction to Ngaio Marsh and her creation, Inspector Roderick Alleyn, or as a nostalgic journey for her many fans.
"Fascinating insights from the author"
Agatha Raisin is bored. Her detective agency in the Cotswolds is thriving, but she'll scream if she has to deal with another missing cat or dog. Only two things seem to offer potential excitement: Christmas and her ex, James Lacey. This year Agatha is sure that if she invites James to a splendid Christmas dinner, their love will rekindle like a warm Yule log. But that fantasy will have to wait for now.
"Bring back Penelope Keith "
It is May 1272, and Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal, recovering from a near-fatal winter fever, journeys to Amesbury Priory to visit her aunt in time for the Feast of Saint Melor. Although Eleanor hopes to regain her strength in the midst of pleasant childhood memories, death reveals a most troublesome fondness for her company. A ghost now haunts Amesbury. Is it perhaps the spirit of a pregnant woman who drowned herself in the River Avon? But soon the specter turns murderous.
In the late summer of 1274, King Edward has finally been anointed England’s ruler, and his queen contemplates a pilgrimage in gratitude for their safe return from Outremer, a journey that will include a stay at Tyndal Priory. Envoys are sent to confirm that everything will be suitable for the king’s wife, and Prioress Eleanor nervously awaits them, knowing that regal visits bring along expense and honor. The cost is higher than expected, however, when Death arrives as the emissary.
When an old gangster friend of Leo’s father makes a request he “can’t refuse”, Leo and his band of drunks delve into the world of environmental politics in search of Caroline Nobel - a spoiled brat without the sense God gave a gopher. With the help of “the Boys” - a group of aging winos who are his modern-day “Baker Street Irregulars” - Leo fights Native American tribal politics, industrial pollution, and psychotic grannies to fulfill his obligation to a friend.
"Enjoyable PI fare"
Holed up at Hilary Bill-Tasman's manor estate for Christmas, Troy Alleyn is to paint the man's portrait and, while she's there, view the Druid Christmas pageant. Along with a pack of eccentric guests, Troy enjoys the festivities, until one of the pageant's players mysteriously disappears into the snowy night
Late summer, 1270. Although the Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, the smell of death still hangs over the land. In the small priory of Tyndal, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud long for a return to routine. Their hopes are dashed, however, when the young and inexperienced Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed their new prioress. Only a day after her arrival, a brutally murdered monk is found in the cloister gardens, and Brother Thomas, a young priest with a troubled past, arrives to bring her a more personal grief.
The summer of 1276 at Tyndal Priory is peaceful - until Kenelm’s corpse is found floating in the millpond. When Brother Thomas concludes that the murder occurred on priory grounds, Prioress Eleanor and Crowner Ralf swiftly agree to help each other solve the crime. The murder victim, a newcomer, was disliked in Tyndal village, and no one there wants one of their own hanged for the deed. Fingers quickly point to a Jewish family, refugees under the relocation provisions of King Edward’s Statute of Jewry. As riots loom and threats mount against the family, Eleanor and Ralf have little time before popular opinion rules the murder solved.
In March 1279, Edward I takes a break from hammering the Welsh and bearing down on England's Jews to vacation in Gloucestershire. The royal party breaks the journey at Woodstock Manor. There, one life begins as the queen gives birth to a daughter, and one draws to an end as apoplexy fells Baron Adam Wynethorpe. Hastening to the baron's deathbed is his eldest son, Hugh, a veteran of Edward's Crusades who can't shake off the battle horrors he has witnessed.
"One of her best"
Baron Herbert’s return from crusade should have been a joyous occasion. Instead, he grows increasingly morose, withdraws from his family, and refuses to share his wife’s bed. When his sons begin to die in strange accidents, some ask whether Herbert harbors a dark sin for which God has cursed him. Or perhaps there is a malign presence at this stormblasted castle, oddly named Doux et Dur.
In the winter of 1271, death stalks the corridors of Wynethorpe Castle on the Welsh border. When the Grim Reaper touches the beloved grandson of the castle lord, Baron Adam sends for his daughter, Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal, and her subinfirmarian, Sister Anne, to save the child with their prayers and healing talents. Escorting them to the remote fortress is Brother Thomas, an unwilling monk fighting his private demons.
January 1888. Vera Arti carries The Communist Manifesto in Armenian through Istanbul’s streets, unaware of the men following her. When the police discover a shipload of guns and the Imperial Ottoman Bank is blown up, suspicion falls on a socialist commune Arti’s friends organized in the eastern mountains. Special Prosecutor Kamil Pasha is called in to investigate. He soon encounters his most ruthless adversary to date.
"Not a Mystery"
In To Shield the Queen, we were introduced to Ursula Blanchard, lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I and one of the most entrancing mystery heroines to come along in many a season. Having once saved the Virgin Queen from political disaster, now young Ursula faces an even greater challenge. Some of her old acquaintances may be plotting to overthrow Elizabeth in favor of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the re-establishment of the Catholic faith.
In the year 1780, Harriet Westerman, the willful mistress of a country manor in Sussex, finds a dead man on her grounds with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer, and historical suspense's newest investigative duo is born.
"Not The Best, But Not Too Bad..."
When Josephine Tey unexpectedly inherits Red Barn Cottage from her estranged godmother, the will stipulates that she must personally claim the house in the Suffolk countryside. But Josephine is not the only benefactor; a woman named Lucy Kyte is also in Hester's will. Sorting through the artifacts of her godmother's life, Josephine is intrigued by an infamous death committed on the cottage's grounds a century before.
In the spring of 1277, Prioress Eleanor goes on a pilgrimage to a famous East Anglian shrine. There are rumors that King Edward may also visit the shrine soon to seek God's blessing for his invasion of Wales. Lurking in this sacred place, however, is an assassin hoping to murder a king. Soon after Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas arrive, a nun falls to her death from the priory bell tower. Brother Thomas finds the body, and the pair quickly grasp that this nun's death was not an accident.
It is the autumn of 1278. The harvest is in. The air is crisp. Dusty summer breathes a last sigh before the dark seasons arrive. For Prioress Eleanor, dark times arrive early in Norfolk. The head of her order, Abbess Isabeau, has sent Father Etienne Davoir from their headquarters in France to inspect all aspects of Tyndal Priory, from its morals to its roofs. Surely the abbess would not have chosen her own brother for this rare and thorough investigation unless the cause was serious and she had reason to fear intervention from Rome.
As the autumn storms of 1271 ravage the East Anglian coast, Crowner Ralf finds the corpse of a brutally murdered soldier in the woods near Tyndal Priory. The dagger in the man’s chest is engraved with a strange cursive design, and the body is wrapped in a crusader’s cloak. Was this the act of a member of the Assassin sect, or was the weapon meant to mislead? Ralf’s decision to take the corpse to the priory for advice may be reasonable, but he is soon caught up in a maelstrom of conflict, both personal and political.
"Excellent as alwaysi"