It takes a village to bury a child...
September 1st, 1939. As the mass evacuation takes place across Britain, thousands of children leave London for the countryside, but when a little girl vanishes without a trace, the reality of separation becomes more urgent and more deadly for those who love her.
In the chaos and uncertainty of war, Josephine struggles with the prospect of change. As a cloud of suspicion falls across the small Suffolk village she has come to love, the conflict becomes personal, and events take a dark and sinister turn.
Blending a Golden Age mystery with the timeless fears of a child’s abduction, Dear Little Corpses is an atmospheric snapshot of England in the early days of war.
Set on the eve of England's entry into WWII, Upson's superior 10th mystery featuring author Josephine Tey (after 2020's The Secrets of Winter) finds Tey and her lover, Marta Fox, spending some precious time together at a cottage Tey has inherited in the quiet Suffolk village of Polstead. The community is hosting children transported from London in anticipation of German bombing raids. The tumult of dealing with many more evacuees than expected is exacerbated when a child disappears. Upson effectively keeps the reader in suspense about the child's fate, even as Tey's policeman friend, Det. Chief Insp. Archie Penrose, works to solve the stabbing death of a London rent-collector. While the reveals of both plotlines are fully satisfying, the book's strength lies in a vivid and moving portrait of a small community torn apart by fear and suspicion. Even secondary characters are imbued with sufficient depth to make the ending for one of them a gut-punch. As always, Upson plays scrupulously fair with her clue-planting. P.D. James fans who haven't read Upson yet are in for a treat.