After many years working around the world for an international charity in the late 1960s, Eleanor Trewynn has retired to the relative quiet of a small town in Cornwall. But her quiet life is short-lived when, due to her experience, the Commonwealth Relations Office reaches out to her to assist in a secret conference that is to take place in a small hotel outside the historical village of Tintagel. Meanwhile, her niece, Detective Sergeant Megan Pencarrow, is investigating the disappearance of a local solicitor when she is assigned to help provide security.
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 "
London, 1937. Following the gloomy days of the abdication of King Edward VIII, the entire city is elated to welcome King George. Just one of the many planned festivities for the historic coronation is a BBC radio adaptation of Queen of Scots, and the original playwright, Josephine Tey, has been invited to sit in on rehearsals. Soon, however, Josephine gets wrapped up in another sort of drama. The lead actress has been sleeping with Britain's most venerable newsman, Anthony Beresford - and his humiliated wife happens to work in the building.
"I LOVE THE JOSEPHINE TEY SERIES!"
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..."
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.
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
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.
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.
London, 1940: Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined....
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"
Summer, 1936: Josephine Tey joins her friends in the resort village of Portmeirion to celebrate her fortieth birthday. Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, are there to sign a deal to film Josephine's novel, A Shilling for Candles, and Alfred Hitchcock has one or two tricks up his sleeve to keep the holiday party entertained-and expose their deepest fears. But things get out of hand when one of Hollywood's leading actresses is brutally slashed to death in a cemetery near the village.
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.
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.
"Weak , bland, boring"
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.
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.
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.
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"
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"
Here is the famous first case that launched the legendary career of Hercule Poirot. Agatha Christie's brilliant and eccentric detective steps out of retirement and into the shadows of a classic mystery. The victim is a wealthy heiress. The suspects are her fortune-hunting husband, her jealous relatives, her hired companion, and others. The solution is a deadly scheme that can only be revealed by the master detective himself, Hercule Poirot.
"Good story, narration not 10/10"
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.