A murder mystery featuring Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne
It is February 1939 and Lord Edward Corinth embarks on his most important investigation yet. It is clear that Britain will soon be at war and will depend on Winston Churchill's leadership. But when MI5 learns that an enemy agent has been dispatched to assassinate Churchill, Edward is tasked with identifying the killer. His first port of call is the Astors' country house, Cliveden, the base of those who are prepared to go to any lengths to avert war.
Verity Browne is also at Cliveden, though she despises the so-called Cliveden Set. Communist Party bosses have ordered her to get close to another guest, Joseph Kennedy, the American Ambassador, who is convinced that Britain could never win a war against militant Germany.
Then the Ambassador's sons discover a man's body in Cliveden's grounds, Verity recognizes him to be a fellow journalist and as war looms, Edward and Verity enter a tense race against time to identify the assassin.
Praise for David Roberts:
'A classic murder mystery [...] and a most engaging pair of amateur sleuths' Charles Osborne, author of The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie
'A really well-crafted and charming mystery story' Daily Mail
'A perfect example of golden-age mystery traditions with the cobwebs swept away' Guardian
A foreign plot to assassinate Winston Churchill drives Roberts's disappointing ninth mystery to feature Lord Edward Corinth and journalist Verity Brown (after 2007's Something Wicked). In early 1939, MI5 sends jaded aristocrat Corinth to Cliveden, the Astor estate in Buckinghamshire that's headquarters for those who support appeasing Hitler, to investigate the threat. Corinth's fianc e, the Communist-leaning Brown, is also visiting the estate, where she's trying to cultivate Joseph Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Britain. A string of murders that appear to be related to Kennedy provides the couple with a more conventional case to pursue. Unlike, say, Jack Higgins in The Eagle Has Landed (about a German scheme to kidnap Churchill during WWII), Roberts fails to compensate for the assassination attempt's inherent lack of suspense with enough else of sufficient interest. Some readers may find the historical detail that lends credibility to other books in the series less convincing in this latest entry.