"This is the most fun I've had with a book this year. Every page is a delight and the mystery got its hooks into me from the first chapter.” – Stuart Turton, bestselling author of The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
The letter was short. A name, a time, a place.
Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder plunges readers into the heart of London, to the secret tunnels that exist far beneath the city streets. There, a mysterious group of detectives recruited for Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries use their cunning and gadgets to solve crimes that have stumped Scotland Yard.
Late one night in April 1958, a filing assistant at Miss Brickett’s receives a letter of warning, detailing a name, a time, and a place. She goes to investigate but finds the room empty. At the stroke of midnight, she is murdered by a killer she can’t see—her death the only sign she wasn’t alone. It becomes chillingly clear that the person responsible must also work for Miss Brickett’s, making everyone a suspect.
Marion Lane, a first-year Inquirer-in-training, finds herself drawn ever deeper into the investigation. When her friend and colleague is framed for the crime, to clear his name she must sort through the hidden alliances at Miss Brickett’s and secrets dating back to WWII. Masterful, clever and deliciously suspenseful, Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder is a fresh take on the Agatha Christie-style locked-room murder mystery, with an exciting new heroine detective.
Set in 1958 London, Willberg's assured debut, which is equal parts mystery and whimsical fantasy, plunges Marion Lane, a first-year apprentice at the shadow spy agency Miss Brickett's Investigations and Inquiries, into the case of Michelle White, a much-loathed filing assistant, who was stabbed to death with one of the agency's futuristic spy gadgets. The nature of the murder weapon leads Marion to believe that Michelle had incriminating information on her murderer. But when Marion's mentor and protector, Frank Stone, comes under suspicion, Marion has to muster her investigative skills and those of her fellow apprentices to prove Frank's innocence before Frank is sent to live out his days in the Holding Chambers, a forbidding prison for inquirers who have gone rogue. Willberg does an admirable job of worldbuilding, in particular Miss Brickett's, which exists in an underground labyrinth far beneath the streets of London. Two distinctive supporting characters, best friend Bill Hobb and handsome American love interest Kenny Hugo, compensate for others who fail to pop. Readers will be curious to see where Marion goes next. \n