Intrepid writer and amateur sleuth Josephine Tey returns in this sixth installment of Nicola Upson’s popular series—perfect for fans of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Jaqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs—that unfolds in 1930s London as England prepares to crown a new king.
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. The sordid affair seems to reach its bloody climax when Beresford is shot to death in his broadcasting booth at the deafening height of the coronation ceremony.
Josephine’s dear friend, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose, has the case wrapped up before long. But when a second, seemingly related murder throws Penrose for a loop, it falls to Josephine to unravel a web of betrayal, jealousy, and long-held secrets… caught all the while in a love triangle of her own making.
Charming and provocative, thick with the atmosphere of prewar England, London Rain is a captivating portrait of a city on the edge—and an unforgettable woman always one step ahead of her time.
The coronation of George VI in 1937 provides the backdrop for Upson's psychologically complex and twisty sixth whodunit featuring real-life mystery writer Josephine Tey (after 2014's The Death of Lucy Kyte). At BBC headquarters in London, where Josephine has come to view the rehearsals of a play of hers that has been adapted for radio and will air as part of the celebration, she happens to be present when Vivienne Beresford, a Radio Times editor, learns that her husband, Anthony, the BBC's leading news announcer, is unfaithful. That revelation sets in motion a series of events that result in murder on the day of the coronation. That case, which is handled by Josephine's close friend at Scotland Yard, Det. Chief Insp. Archie Penrose, seems to be open-and-shut, but that perception changes when a second corpse turns up. Upson adroitly confounds the reader's expectations, and her subtle and emotionally intelligent exploration of Josephine's relationship with her lover, Marta Hallard, adds depth.
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