Who is killing the crime writers of London? Find out in this “consistently entertaining . . . crime debut from sci-fi veteran Brown” (Kirkus Reviews).
London, 1955. When crime writer Donald Langham’s literary agent asks for his help in sorting out “a delicate matter,” little does Langham realize what he’s getting himself into. For a nasty case of blackmail leads inexorably to murder as London’s literary establishment is rocked by a series of increasingly bizarre deaths. With three members of the London Crime Writers’ Association coming to sudden and violent ends, what at first appeared to be a series of suicides looks suspiciously like murder—and there seems to be something horribly familiar about the various methods of dispatch.
With the help of his literary agent’s assistant, the delectable Maria Dupré, Langham finds himself drawing on the skills of his fictional detective hero as he hunts a ruthless and fiendishly clever killer—a killer with old scores to settle.
“[A] well-paced first mystery. . . . Readers will hope a sequel is in the works.” —Publishers Weekly
SF author Brown (Homeworld) does a good job depicting the changing social world of 1955 London in his well-paced first mystery. Literary agent Charles Elder asks an old friend and client, mystery writer Donald Langham, to help him with a delicate personal matter. Kenneth, "a charming scallywag" with whom Charles has become intimate at the Hackney swimming baths, is now trying to blackmail him with incriminating photographs of the pair in flagrante delicto. Don, whose contact at an investigative agency could assist in the case, teams with Charles's glamorous associate, Maria Dupr , to try to retrieve the photos. Meanwhile, a number of Don's fellow writers are meeting untimely ends. Maria lacks the well-roundedness of the main characters, but her high spirits nicely compliment Don's somewhat-dour nature. Readers will hope a sequel is in the works.