Ostara Publishing Colourfon

Ostara Publishing


Mr Campion's Farthing - Philip Youngman-Carter

Inglewood Turrets in the leafy outskirts of North London, a cross between St Pancreas Station and Holloway Gaol, is where the formidable Miss Charlotte Cambric recreates Victorian elegance for foreign culture-vultures. Vassily Kopeck, the half-Russian, half-Polish physicist and an ‘attaché of sorts’, disappears after a visit to The Turrets and becomes a much-wanted man. Leading the hunt on one side is Russian ‘diplomat’ Moryak, on the other, L.C. Corkran of British Security, very ably assisted by Mr Albert Campion and – making his debut – Campion’s son Rupert, determined to support his father in proving that knight errantry is not yet out-of-date…
Mr Campion's Falcon - Philip Youngman-Carter

In The Drover’s Arms, a four-star upmarket country pub in the Cotswolds, a visitor dies of natural causes and is identified as Matthew James Matthew, a retired engineer and enthusiastic amateur archaeologist who seems to have no immediate family or friends and whose background is vague to say the least. Then the pompous and self-important innkeeper of the Drover’s Arms is found dead in very suspicious circumstances miles away, near an archaeological dig in in Suffolk. Can these two deaths be linked to the disappearance of the brilliant but unstable geologist Francis Makepeace? Albert Campion thinks so and Margery Allingham’s famous and much-loved ‘Golden Age’ detective is rarely wrong when it comes to a mystery as he heads a cast of delightful (and not so delightful) characters in the hunt for the missing geologist. There’s L.C. Corkran, formerly of the Security Services but whose retirement “has been greatly exaggerated”; the cool-headed, independent Miss Anthea Peregrine; the love-struck schoolboy Robert Oncer Smith; the rather dubious antique-dealer Morris Jay; known thug and small-time villain Ginger Scott and Inspector Appleyard, a boorish Suffolk policeman; plus the grotesque, repellent and very dangerous Claude Porteous.
A College Mystery - A P Baker

Christ’s College, Cambridge, is the location of this intriguing ghost story which relates to three people: one life was destroyed, another ended, and the happiness of the third ruined. Why did four eminent residents of the Fellows building –who claimed to have witnessed an apparition refuse to have their full names revealed? Why did Christopher Round prohibit publication of his records for at least fifty years after his death?
The Punt Murder - Aceituna Griffin

‘The punt had been hired for the summer. The Atkins had got one with a frame work on which a cover could be fitted in case of rain. The tarpaulin had been removed from the main part of the boat, and lay in a heap in the stern’
The New Cambridge Mysteries - Barbara Cleverly

From the award-winning author of the best-selling Joe Sandilands series, a collection of mystery stories set in and around Cambridge - past, present and future - including cases for Great War veteran Inspector John Redfyre in 1922, contemporary investigations for the feisty Detective Constable Stella Kenton and a disturbing, dystopian view of Cambridge (and policing) in the year 2022.
Murder is Academic - Christine Poulson

I felt something sharp dig into the back of my neck. I sat up and felt the cushion. There was something inside, something familiar with a hard narrow ridge. I unzipped the cushion cover, pushed my hand inside and pulled out a handful of computer disks. I plunged my hand back in to make sure that I had got everything, and brought out a creased manila envelope, its sides bulging. I took it over to the table and tipped out the contents: twenty or so smaller, white envelopes addressed in a large, spiky hand to Dr Margaret Joplin at her college address. The top left-hand corner of each was marked Private and Confidential. I opened one. Inside was a single sheet of A4 paper. It was a letter dated 16 January and headed ‘The British Library’. ‘Darling, darling, darling,’ I read.
The May Week Murder - Douglas G Browne

Murder was bad enough, and a murder in Cambridge, of all places, and in May Week, too, was worse; but what really put the tin hat on it was the baronetcy and the Bath and the Carlton.
Trouble in College - F J Whaley

A group of undergraduates form a club for the purpose of committing crimes which cause no permanent harm to persons or property; but when an unexplained robbery is followed by a sudden death they feel they are getting more than they bargained for. You are invited to spend a week at St Chad’s, Cambridge, and meet an amusing yet typical group of dons and junior members who become involved in a succession of baffling mysteries.
The Cambridge Murders - Glyn Daniel

Glyn Daniel was born in 1914 and studied at Cardiff University and at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a First Class Honours degree with Distinction. He was a Fellow of St John’s and Lecturer in Archaeology in the University from 1948, after holding many other lectureships in archaeology. He was Director of the Cambridge Arts Theatre. In 1941 he was made an F.S.A.. His publications include The Three Ages, A Hundred Years of Archaeology, The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales, The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of France, The Megalith Builders of Western Europe, and a number of articles in archaeological journals. He also wrote two detective novels. His other recreations were travel, swimming, food, and wine. He died in 1986.
Nights in White Satin - Michelle Spring

It's May Week in Cambridge, a time of wild excess following the end of exams. Private investigator Laura Principal is asked to provide security for the St John’s College annual May Ball, but for Laura, the May Ball turns sour when Katie Arkwright, a student guest from Anglia University, disappears. In her white satin dress, and with her halo of blonde curls, Katie looked angelic, but Laura discovers that her past was anything but. Could Katie's earlier experiences in Cambridge be relevant and what really happened at the Dorics private dinner?
Murder at Cambridge - Q Patrick

“Without another word I strode out, crossed the passage and banged noisily on Baumann’s sported oak. There was no sound from his room but a crack of light showed under the door. “I’ll get in if it’s the last thing I do,” I muttered, still haunted by that fleeting glimpse of the Profile. I opened the passage window and climbed onto the still dripping roof. Once outside, I walked along the narrow parapet that separated my window from Baumann’s. So far it was easy, but as I looked through into my neighbour’s lighted room, I almost lost my balance and toppled over backwards into the court four stories below. I had to look twice before I could believe that this was not all some hideous nightmare. I grasped at the window sash to steady myself”.
The Boat Race Murder - R E Swartwout

‘ There was a rush at the door, which gave way with a splintering of wood. Torn from its hinges, the door fell inwards, and the President, Savago, Owen Lloyd, and Tom Scoby were precipitated headlong into the bathroom.’
Darkness at Pemberley - T H White

'The Master was in his study at the Lodge. He rose courteously from his writing-table as the Inspector entered. In appearance everything that a Master should be, patriarchal and benevolent, he constantly gave the impression that he had just laid aside a treatise on the Hebrew gospels. He shook hands with his well-known hospitality and feebly motioned the Inspector to a chair. “Well, Mr. Inspector,” he said, “this is a terrible shock to all of us. I hope you will be able to throw some light upon it.”'
Deaths Bright Dart - V C Clinton-Baddeley

The quiet room seemed to explode. People started out of their seats. Exclamations, reserved and small in themselves, amalgamated like a whistle of steam. As there was nothing he could do. Davie stood watching the extraordinary picture
My Foe Outstretched Beneath The Tree - V C Clinton-Baddeley

‘The hall porter was not in a position to see. Nor was he likely to remember if anyone was absent in that direction longer than usual. Besides why would anyone be absent longer than usual?’
To Study a Long Silence - V C Clinton-Baddeley

‘When the lights went up again the stage was empty and, one by one, from the centre opening, beginning with Clown, the actors came forward to make their bow. One by one, till there were two lines on either side of the stage. Then they all looked back as though expecting somebody else. Nobody came.’
Only a Matter of Time - V C Clinton-Baddeley

“When something appalling happens to one at first one thinks about it all the time, and then gradually one sets it aside and only remembers it irregularly until at last one’s sorrow is reduced to a sort of exhibit, like something in a drawer, something one can fish out and look at and say, ‘Ah yes–I remember now–that happened to me.’ And the old indignation returns, but not to stay. The phrase ‘a skeleton in the cupboard’is right–not so much for the word skeleton as for the word cupboard. One takes one’s sorrow out from time to time and looks at it, and puts it back again. But one must put it back. That is essential. Thought breaks the heart.
No Case for the Police - V C Clinton-Baddeley

The shallow pool was full of those strange expected things which people love to dump in old quarries. A twisted bicycle wheel, the hood of a pram, a single boot, the spokes of an umbrella. And all those broken things had a history beginning with dignity. As much a history, thought Davie, as a man’s broken body lying beside them in the same murky water.’
Archdeacons Afloat - C A Alington

“A ship in which strange ladies addressed unknown archdeacons by night, and fled screaming at the sight of their faces, was something entirely foreign to his experiences, and promised ill for a peaceful holiday .... Never, since a rural dean (subsequently suspected of hydrophobia) had endeavoured to bite him in the leg, had he had so unpleasant an adventure.”
Clerical Errors - D M Greenwood

The screaming was coming from the St Manicus chapel...with measured and reluctant haste Julia turned in its direction as she came around the corner, she saw a fat middle-aged woman holding on to the edge of the font at the back of the chapel. Julia Smiths first day of work in the diocesan office of St Manicus did not unfold as she might have hoped. Confused by the ecclesiastical intrigue of the Dean and Chapter, the shocked Julia is taken under the wing of the young deaconess, Theodora Braithwaite.
Unholy Ghosts - D M Greenwood

‘Theodora Braithwaite drove fast down the straight Roman Road which was the only road into and out of Norfolk…the end of the journey was in sight. With every smooth gear-change she felt the recent, haunting past slip away from her. The agonised faces of the freshly bereaved or betrayed grew less insistent.’
Holy Terrors - D M Greenwood

Jessica fixed her eye with simulated interest on the Reverend Robert Mere and felt her way down the immense and comforting depth of her right-hand skirt pocket. Two toffees, her asthma inhaler, locker key and a dog lead gave place at the very bottom of her pocket to a solid metal object, round which her fingers curled. She jangled it between her thumb and two fingers, caressing the smooth cool metal and warming it into life. While her hand held it, she felt safe.
Idol Bones - D M Greenwood

The Reverend Theodora Braithwaite’s attention wandered. She peered out of the carriage window at the flat, rain-swept fenland and wondered what the immediate future held in store for her. She was thirty years old, a woman in deacon’s orders in the Church of England. She had set herself as part of the discipline of following a vocation properly not to mind where she was sent nor to become too attached to any settled pattern of life.
Every Deadly Sin - D M Greenwood

“The discovery and sponsoring of the shrine was the work of a remarkable man. The Reverend Augustine Bellaire was not perhaps entirely orthodox in every respect. Certainly he allowed himself to invent tradition when he felt the greater good was so served. In his own person too there was flamboyance which some found difficult to tolerate. His taste in clerical dress ran to the colourful and, his enemies had it, popish. He was invariably accompanied by a pair of large deer-hounds which went with him into chapel at St Sylvan’s and slept under the pulpit. He had a fine tenor voice and was inclined to sing the entire liturgy unaided and unaccompanied. As age advanced he became unpredictable and suffered, it was observed, from violent swings of mood. He would allow no vehicles within two miles of St Sylvan’s and there was neither television, wireless nor newspapers in the guest-house. He died in 1988 but his spirit hovered yet, so his friends asserted, over the place he had loved.”
Mortal Spoils - D M Greenwood

“Tom approached the figure carefully, mindful of the old adage about letting sleeping bishops lie. When he was within a couple of feet of the chair, he cleared his throat. There was no response. Tom was nonplussed. He’d not read anything in his business studies course which gave him a formula for dealing with clerics asleep in security cleared zones…… He stepped a little nearer. Something in the angle of the man’s head struck him. Very gently he put his hand on the shoulder and shook it. The figure, as though dislodged from a niche, slid calamitously forward onto the floor.”
Heavenly Vices - D M Greenwood

‘I’ve wished him dead many and many a time.’ ‘Who hasn’t? You mustn’t blame yourself for that.’ ‘He did so much damage. The college … as Warden …’ The Reverend Matthew Brink gestured in his actorly way at the tall French window of his drawing room. Rain battered the glass and bounced off the stone paving of the terrace beyond; each massive drop created its own small fountain. The summer had been dry. Autumn promised a relief. ‘I mean,’ Brink pressed on, ‘Gracemount has always held its head up among theological colleges. It had a certain decorum. The bishops knew their young men were in safe hands here.’
A Grave Disturbance - D M Greenwood

‘She glanced at the small figure beside her. He was dressed like an old-fashioned prep-school master in a pepper and salt tweed jacket with leather at the cuffs and elbows and faded fawn cords. His long, rather lugubrious face reminded her of Labradors she had known. His hair, which was plentiful and neatly cut in a military shape, looked as though it had been fair but was now grey. She noticed a tic in his left cheek, not pronounced but suggesting nervousness at odds with his ordinary appearance. There was, she detected, some strain, some reticence. He imitated normality with deliberation, as a drunk might act sobriety, over-conscientiously. What was he concealing or suffering?’
Foolish Ways - D M Greenwood

‘The Bishop remained calm and had no intention of leaving the site. It was his conference, his first in his new diocese, his first in Episcopal orders. He was blessed if anything was going to stop him setting targets, getting things under way, making, above all, changes. He gathered Peach, Worsted and the Archdeacon. ‘We must all remain calm,’ said Worsted, unwisely taking the lead. His hands were trembling. Someone, he just knew it, was going to blame him for all this.’
Murder in a Nunnery - Eric Shepherd

Written by Eric Shepherd, a onetime professor of English Literature at the University of Malta Murder in a Nunnery was inspired by his latter career teaching at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Roehampton. In the fictional Harrington Convent one of its more challenging inhabitants, Baroness Sliema is found murdered, Chief Inspector Pearson of Scotland Yard is called to solve the crime. He discovers the Convent is governed by a particularly shrewd and omniscient Reverend Mother and we meet a varied and entertaining cast of characters observed with wit and charm. Shepherd describes the world of a Convent with its colourful, and in some cases unlikely, inhabitants with sympathy and humour making for a gentle and entertaining tale.
More Murder in a Nunnery - Eric Shepherd

Written several years after Murder in a Nunnery, but set only two years after the events of the first book More Murder in a Nunnery takes the reader back to the world of the fictional Harrington Convert A body neatly wrapped in brown paper is found by the gardener, Mr Turtle, on his garden rubbish heap. The police are again summoned to the Convent and we meet again the now Deputy Commissioner Pearson along with many of the characters so charmingly and empathetically described in the first book
Murder At The Altar - Veronica Heley

‘It was two days since the funeral. Ellie had told everyone she would be perfectly all right on her own, but of course she wasn’t. The pills the doctor had given her weren’t helping, either. She couldn’t sleep at night, and felt half asleep all day. She knew she would feel more alive if she stopped taking the pills, but she wasn’t sure she could cope if she did……………A heavy-set woman burst out of the side door of the church, arms flailing. Ellie registered that this was unusual, but did not move.Mrs Dawes ran down the path from the church. Ellie felt a faint stir of interest. She’d never seen the stately Mrs Dawes run before.Mrs Dawes fought her way through the gate which led from the church grounds into the alley. Crossing the alley she wrenched open the gate into Ellie’s garden. Mrs Dawes’ face was red and her padded olive-green coat flapped around her as she pounded her way up the garden and banged on Ellie’s kitchen door’
Murder By Suicide - Veronica Heley

In a green and yellow kitchen, a woman drew the blind down over the window so that nobody could see in. She pulled on some Marigold yellow gloves and took a pad of multicoloured paper out of a drawer. She assembled a ruler and biro beside her mug of coffee. The slut must be punished, driven out of the parish. Only then would justice be done. The woman in the yellow gloves enjoyed the sense of power this letter-writing gave her. As she reached for the biro, she jarred her mug of coffee and spilt some on the table. She mopped it up quickly. Only a few drops stained the edge of the pad. Nothing to worry about. No one was going to trace the letters back to her.
Murder by Accident - Veronica Heley

I wouldn’t try to get out, if I were you. The handle on the front door’s been wired to the mains. Other things, too, so be careful what you touch! Ha! Ha!’ The front door slammed shut. Was it a bluff, or was the handle electrified? Ellie backed away from the door. ‘Be careful what you touch …’ She put her hands down at her sides, and looked around her. She wouldn’t touch anything – no, not anything – till she was sure it was safe. She spotted the phone by the overturned table. Dare she try it? Would that be electrified, too? They couldn’t afford to let her go. She would have to die, preferably in another ‘accident’. Sooner or later she would make a mistake and come into contact with one of their little surprises. If she touched anything which had been booby-trapped, she wouldn’t just get a mild shock; it would kill her.
Murder of Innocence - Veronica Heley

Smoke seeped under the door. She’d always been afraid of fire. She got the boy to help her, and in the dark they felt around for something, anything, to prevent the smoke suffocating them. Any old towel would do. The sides of the door fitted pretty well. Not so much smoke came in now. Would it be better to die of suffocation than to burn alive? Ellie tried the door again, and again. Immovable. The house was empty except for the two of them, shut into that tiny room with no means of escape. There was no window, and the fire was gaining ground around them. It would be easy to give way to hysteria. Calm down. How long since that fiend in human form had shut them in? How long would it take for the fire to reach her … or the smoke to suffocate her … and the boy? Breathing wasn’t getting any easier …
Murder in the Garden - Veronica Heley

“There is nothing more irritating to a grown woman than to be told ‘you don’t want to see this’, so naturally Ellie hastened down her own pretty garden, into the alley, and up through the gate into Kate’s. The untrimmed bushes, brambles and saplings which had covered the garden for the last umpteen number of years had been crudely scraped off and dumped in a skip. Halfway up the garden, a pit had been excavated to form the top pool of a new water feature, and the topsoil from that hole had been dumped in the skip on top of the vegetation. Kate and Armand had wanted a small upper pool, with a trickle of water from a large bamboo pipe feeding a larger lower pool, which would then be recycled back up the slope via a pump. There had evidently been no problem cutting out the upper pool, but the machine had just started on the lower one when … something white had appeared in the grab. Billy’s mate got down from his seat. ‘I never dug up one of them afore.’”
Murder by Committee - Veronica Heley

“She didn’t like people shouting at her, but managed to give him a civil reply. ‘You remind me of Pooh-Bah, or Lord High Everything, a character invented by W. S. Gilbert. You probably don’t know The Mikado, though I expect your mother taught you manners when you were a child.’ She stood up, signalling to Kate that she’d had enough. ‘I don’t think I can help you with … whatever it is you want.’ ‘Didn’t you hear me say that I don’t need you to sort this out?’ She nodded, eyebrows raised, making for the door. He shouted after her, ‘Tell Gwyn I’m not impressed!’ Ellie paused in the doorway. ‘Neither am I.’”
Murder by Bicycle - Veronica Heley

When a nasty outbreak of food poisoning afflicts the congregation of Ellie's church following a Faith lunch, Ellie is horrified to find her home-baked quiche cast as the culprit. Worse, it's clear that some of the parishioners think the poisoning was deliberate? Fighting off the relentless demands of her daughter Diana, and plagued by toothache, Ellie's life is beset with problems, complicated by the romantic attentions of not one but two suitors. Then a second wave of poisonings affects the community, and Ellie's investigative antennae are aroused. For all are connected with her young friend Felicity's past life?
Murder of Identity - Veronica Heley

While out collecting laurel for formidable flower arranger Mrs Dawes, feisty widow Ellie Quicke comes across a corpse without an identity. Next day, Ellie discovers Mrs Dawes badly beaten and close to death. Much to Ellie's dismay, the police think shaven-headed Neil, Mrs Dawes' grandson, is responsible, even after a third body comes to light . . . So who has lost their identity and who has gained it?
Crime At Dianas Pool - Victor L Whitechurch

“both men uttered a fresh exclamation of horror. The face of the man was not that of the black-bearded bandsman whose jacket he was wearing. The man they had found stabbed in the back and lying in Diana’s pool was their host - Felix Nayland!”
The Cambridge Murders - Adam Broome

“ he’s tight” The two undergraduates had been up to London without the formality of getting “exeats” from their tutor. They were returning to their rooms in Silver Street by way of Trumpington Street and in passing down Brookside kept as far as possible in the shade of the tree opposite the Leys School, so as the more easily to avoid the possible attention of the proctors on their final rounds of the town. “Tight or not, we can’t leave him there to drown” ’
The Oxford Murders - Adam Broome

Anything at all unusual came as a relief to Police Constable Merrilees on his dreary beat.’ He flashed his lantern back down the areas of the surrounding houses, and completed the turn off into Little Clarendon Street to complete his patrol. But it was not yet time for him to report back at the Police Station. He determined to have one more look -at close quarters- at the object which had arrested his attention
Welcome Death - Glyn Daniel

Glyn Daniel was born in 1914 and studied at Cardiff University and at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a First Class Honours degree with Distinction. He was a Fellow of St John’s and Lecturer in Archaeology in the University from 1948, after holding many other lectureships in archaeology. He was Director of the Cambridge Arts Theatre. In 1941 he was made an F.S.A.. His publications include The Three Ages, A Hundred Years of Archaeology, The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales, The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of France, The Megalith Builders of Western Europe, and a number of articles in archaeological journals. He also wrote two detective novels. His other recreations were travel, swimming, food, and wine. He died in 1986.
The Case of the Philosophers Ring - Randall Collins

We did not find quite the peaceful college-town atmosphere at Cambridge we had expected. Along the street from the Station the shops were closed and shuttered, although here and there someone peeked furtively from behind a curtain. The streets themselves were deserted, and pieces of litter were strewn everywhere. There were shouts and trampling noises in the distance, in the direction of the colleges. “What can it mean, Holmes?” I exclaimed. “Has the town been invaded by some wild beast?”
Falconer's Crusade - Ian Morson

Set in Oxford University in 1264, this murder-mystery follows Regent Master William Falconer, a progressive teacher and amateur detective, as he tries to solve the murder of a local servant girl. His students are under suspicion and Falconer is drawn into a world of heresy, magic and violence.
Falconer's Judgement - Ian Morson

The heavy scent of incense hung over the bedchamber like a miasmal fog that had risen off the River Tiber. The figure on the bed was draped in rich robes and his hands were clasped in silent prayer on his chest. Marble-faced, he seemed already to have metamorphosed into the icy statue that would soon top his tomb, without requiring the intervention of the stone-mason. In the far corner of the room a huddle of figures whispered urgently to each other, their heads close together as if afraid the figure on the bed would hear. One man turned his hooded eyes towards the bed, thinking he discerned movement, and almost craving the final stillness.
Falconer and the Face of God - Ian Morson

“As the wagon rumbled up Fish Street and de Askeles was turning back to the wagon’s interior, his gaze lit upon a cadaverous figure that lurked in the darkness of an overhanging doorway. For a moment their eyes met and a sort of recognition flashed between them – the semblancer of Death and one who resembled Death itself. De Askeles shuddered, shook his head, and the figure was gone. His brain thumping, the actor slumped back into the recesses of the wagon, and groped at his feet for the flagon that he had valiantly tried to empty on the journey. He missed the murderous look in Will Plome’s eyes, De Askeles was oblivious of the hatred he engendered in those around him – a fact which was to prove fatal.”
Falconer and the Ritual of Death - Ian Morson

A William Falconer Mystery - Oxford University, 1271. As old buildings are pulled down to make way for a new purpose-built college, a body is revealed. Regent Master William Falconer deduces that the skeleton is twenty years old. He must try to recall any significant events, when England was involved in an earlier Crusade, which could provide a solution. As the heavens open, and Oxford is threatened with flooding, Falconer is drawn into violent events where the past and the present collide with startling consequences . . .
Falconer's Trial - Ian Morson

"Master William Falconer returns in this chilling and atmospheric medieval murder mystery. - ""Oxford"," April 1272." The Lady Ann Segrim has been murdered, and a Regent Master has been taken at the scene of the crime, red-handed. The suspect is William Falconer, but, strangely, he doesn t deny the charges. Using Falconer s own logical methods to solve the crime, Symon, along with Saphira Le Veske, Falconer s new lover, sets out to clear his name, uncovering an extraordinary plot in the process."
Falconer and the Death of Kings - Ian Morson

Master William Falconer returns in this chilling and atmospheric medieval murder mystery. - Oxford, January 1273. When Regent Master William Falconer receives a cryptic message from Friar Roger, an old friend whose experimental scientific ideas the church consider heretical, he travels to Paris to find him. On arrival, he discovers his friend has been incarcerated in a friary, and he must work to ensure that his scientific theories are not lost forever. But, unbeknownst to Falconer, King Edward has a task for him one that will test even the Regent Master s legendary powers of deduction."
The Legend of Hereward - Mike Ripley

"On mid-summer’s eve in the year 1063, just before noon, two young men, heavily armed, rode into Bourne looking for a fight." It was the beginning of the Legend of Hereward – but which Hereward? Hereward The Outlaw? Hereward the Firestarter? Hereward the Plunderer? Hereward the Witch-Killer? Was he an English hero leading a last-ditch resistance against William the Conqueror and the invading Normans, whose exploits inspired the romantic myth of Robin Hood? Or was he a dangerous ‘berserker’ for whom murder, deceit and betrayal were constant companions? More than a century on from his short and violent life, it is the learned monk Gerald of Wales (Giraldus Cambriensis or Gerald de Barri) who has to piece together – and put a favourable gloss on – the legend of Hereward and reveal what happened at the siege of Ely and its Abbey, deep in the flooded and mysterious East Anglian Fens. On first publication, Professor Bernard Knight, author of the acclaimed ‘Crowner John’ series, wrote: “(Mike Ripley) portrays his hero as a pretty awful character, a psychopathic killer and arsonist, but a brilliant tactician when it came to slaying Normans. Though the hard historical facts about Hereward are thin on the ground, this book makes you believe that everything the author describes must have happened just as he says.”
Deadly Errand - Christine Green

Kate Kinsella is a disillusioned nurse and a naïve and optimistic private detective. Hubert Humberstone is the local undertaker and displays an unnatural interest in ladies’ shoes. They have one thing in common: they are both in the death business and in the small Midlands town of Longborough, business is booming. Jackie Byfield, a young, dedicated, deeply religious nurse, is found stabbed to death in the grounds of St Dymphna’s Hospital and at first sight seems to be a most unlikely murder victim. So too does the old lady, dressed to go to a funeral, who dies after a fatal fall in her own home. As novice private detective Kate Kinsella uses her nursing experience to investigate, the death toll rises and Kate finds herself at the head of the waiting-list of potential victims.
Deadly Admirer - Christine Green

During a temporary lull in the night shift at Longborough General Hospital, Vanessa Wooten walks into Casualty and calmly announces she has taken a deliberate overdose. She is well aware of her actions as she is herself a District Nurse and has been driven to attempting suicide by a stalker who is trying to kill her. The police think Vanessa neurotic and ignore her pleas for protection so novice private eye Kate Kinsella takes on the task, but as she digs into Vanessa’s background she begins to suspect that the police might be right. Then Vanessa’s deadly admirer begins to leave her presents in the form of corpses…
Deadly Practice - Christine Green

Arriving in a hearse was not the way to get a nursing job. The recession has hit Kate Kinsella hard. Not only can she not find regular nursing work, but her Nursing and Medical Investigations agency is withering due to as lack of clients. The only thriving business in Longborough seems to be that of her landlord Hubert Humberstone, the local undertaker. Then a body found in the boot of a burnt-out car is identified as that of a nurse at the Riverside Medical Centre and it seems that Kate could have both a new job and a new case. But Kate could be stepping into the dead nurse’s shoes in more ways than one…
The Pizza House Crash - Denise Danks

One and, two and, three and … FORGET THE KEY, the green letters said. One and, two and, three and … FORGET THE KEY. One and, two and, three and … FORGET THE KEY. It was mesmerising even at that speed. A message that shouldn’t have been in a pizza-house computer had resulted in the death of technology journalist Georgina Powers’ cousin; but if a similar virus had been had been insinuated into one of the biggest and most complex financial systems in the world, that meant a killing of a different kind. London in the late 1980s and the ‘Big Bang’ in the City is at the cutting edge of the computing and information revolution and where there are stocks to be traded and money to be made, there are also thieves waiting to employ the latest technology. Georgina Powers – brilliant with computers but terrible with men – soon realises that the source of the virus is very dangerously close to home.
Better Off Dead - Denise Danks

Carla Blue, rising pop star dies tragically from a cocktail of booze, drugs and excess at the iconic age of 27, a year to the day after rock legend Johnny Waits had also made the ultimate career move, only for posthumous sales of his music to sky-rocket. Carla may be dead, but she’s still in business. The music industry had made death a marketing tool, with computer software predicting when to ‘terminate’ a product for maximum returns. It’s not that difficult to do with a machine, but you have to be a wicked bastard to want to… Guilt-ridden technology journalist, and Carla Blue’s closest friend, Georgina Powers smells the first rat when she stumbles across wide boy and street trader Tommy Levi selling pirated cassette tapes of Carla’s last album even before it is released posthumously. Her investigations lead her into a web of drugs, lust, violence and corruption encompassing both the glittering lifestyle of the world of rock and roll, and the less glamorous but just as ruthless territory of some very hard East End ‘businessmen’. Better Off Dead offers a bleak, but probably accurate, picture of London at the end of the 1980s. London and its music industry are on the edge of the computer technology revolution, but where there is money to be made, the old values of greed and envy will always survive.
Frame Grabber - Denise Danks

Georgina Powers, the feisty journalist who is good with technology is also terrible in her choice of men .. .. something which just may be the death of her. It is the early 1990s and the dawn of the age of personal computers and virtual reality role-playing games; and with the new technology come new and frightening ways of providing pornography to pander to every depraved taste. What begins for Georgina as a spontaneous but ill-judged affair with an interviewee in New York, becomes a shaming obsession which follows her home to London and she finds herself an unwitting participant in the computer-generated ‘Pornoland’ role-play game. Virtual reality has become all too real.
Sometimes You Could Die - James Mitchell

Most writers consider themselves blessed if they create one memorable protagonist in their careers. James Mitchell, novelist and television dramatist, created four: the violent, tortured secret agent John Craig, the enigmatic assassin David Callan, the wily Jack Ford from When The Boat Comes In and, in the mid-1980s, the Anglo-Italian private eye Tommaso Ronald Hogget in a trilogy of fast-paced crime novels which Allan Prior in the Daily Mail described as: ‘Crisply written, the dialogue is bright and it carries the reader along like – well, like Callan used to.’ Ron Hogget is a private detective who excels at finding missing things and missing people – sometimes when they’re dead. Sometimes You Could Die, first published in 1985, revolves around the fate of Jane Donner – society beauty, philanthropist and patron of the arts – who was kidnapped whilst in northern Italy and even though a million dollar ransom was paid, the beautiful Mrs Donner has been killed and decapitated. Now super-rich businessman Martin Donner wants revenge on his wife’s murderers, but first he has to find them….or rather Ron Hogget does.
Dead Ernest - James Mitchell

The unfortunately named Ernest Fluck is by all accounts a computer genius. He also has a reputation as being unpleasant, impossible to work with, a fanatical gambler and possibly a crook. Rather remarkably, he seems to be engaged to Irish socialite and racehorse owner Imogen Courtney-Lithgoe. He’s also missing – and so is one of her racehorses. Then a potential witness disappears and a body turns up only to go missing almost immediately and the case develops into a search for a man, a woman, a horse and a corpse and private detective Ron Hogget has his work cut out. The search for answers takes Ron and his minder, former paratrooper and would-be philosopher Dave Baxter, on a dangerous journey to Ireland, to Spain and eventually Australia.
Dying Day - James Mitchell

London private eye Ron Hogget finds things for people, though the finding sometimes involves fearful activities. Ron is often fearful — he’s that sort of person — but he usually gets the job done. And he has Dave Baxter, a friend and minder who drives a mini-cab, reads philosophy, who knows everything about guns and self-defence and nothing about fear. In Dying Day, Hogget is hired to find nothing smaller than an airplane, and one that’s been missing for thirty years. It is ex-RAF officer Tony Palliser, filthy rich from a business that began with airplanes — Dakotas — participating in the Berlin airlift in 1948, who calls on Hogget’s services. But why, after all these years? Palliser’s reasons are thin, but his money is good so Ron takes on the job only to find he’s not alone on the hunt and that the real reason behind finding the aircraft must be quite impressive for all the deaths being arranged on its behalf. Including, very likely, his own… When first published in 1988, respected American critic Allen J. Hubin, reviewing Dying Day, wrote: ‘A solidly constructed, high-tension story with a well-crafted array of characters’.
O Gentle Death - Janet Neel

“She looked at him, seriously, then suddenly smiled and twirled, provocatively, so that he could get the full benefit, flirting a bit like any teenage daughter, and Vivienne sighed with relief. ‘Now, am I smart enough for you two good-looking women?’ he asked, and they walked round him, considering him carefully, for a blessed moment like any ordinary family going to a party.”
Death's Bright Angel - Janet Neel

"He heard the sodden dead leaves on the pavement squeak, and an indrawn breath, and as he turned just saw an upraised arm, elongated by something held in the hand; but before he could cry out, his head exploded and he felt himself falling…" It may be that Death’s bright angel Will speak in that chord again
Death of a Partner - Janet Neel

"As his eyes focused he realized he was looking at a hideously swollen human body, and just then, as the light breeze shifted, he caught the stomach-turning odour of decay…" Start with the balance sheet. That’s where the bodies are.
Death Among the Dons - Janet Neel

"Probably in her mid-fifties, healthy, well-nourished, not fat, but the skin looked smooth on the bones, and the skin was clear and supple. A woman who looked after herself… Good looking, even in death."
A Timely Death - Janet Neel

The fifth John McLeish/Francesca Wilson, first published in 1996, was described by critic T. J. Binyon as ‘Her best novel yet’ and as ‘A superior whodunit’ by the Daily Telegraph. William Price is a dodgy businessman already well-known to the Fraud Squad. When his dead body is discovered (by a Member of Parliament no less) following what appears to have been a bizarre sexual experiment, he becomes a matter of interest to Detective Chief Superintendent John McLeish, assisted by his wife Francesca, whose detective skills are as finely honed as her husband’s.
Death on Site - Janet Neel

Janet Neel’s second novel, first published in 1989, was judged by the critics to be a ‘worthy successor’ to her award-winning debut Death’s Bright Angel and firmly established her detective duo of policeman John McLeish and Civil Service high-flyer Francesca Wilson as one of the most endearing double acts in British crime fiction. Whilst on holiday in Scotland, the pair witness a near-fatal climbing accident. Back in London there is another fall, this time fatal and definitely murder, plunging McLeish and Francesca into an investigation of greed and corruption in the construction industry.
To Die For - Janet Neel

Murder is on the menu at the fashionable and stunningly successful Café de la Paix in London’s Covent Garden and there is no shortage of suspects for policeman John McLeish and his strong-minded wife Francesca in their sixth joint investigation, first published in 1998. During her impressive business and financial career, Janet Neel (now Baroness Cohen of Pimlico) founded and financed two successful London restaurants. Her experiences then, and her membership of the famous Detection Club, would seem the ideal recipe for a satisfying murder mystery.
Ticket to Ride - Janet Neel

After her award-winning series featuring civil servant Francesca Wilson and policeman John McLeish (all available from Ostara Crime), Janet Neel created a new heroine in Jules Carlisle, a recently-qualified lawyer struggling to establish herself in a London law firm specialising in immigration issues and helping asylum seekers. First published in 2005, Ticket to Ride is a remarkably prescient mystery, flagging up the exploitation of illegal immigrants tempted by the offer of work in agriculture in East Anglia and begins with the discovery of eight bodies in shallow graves on a beach near King’s Lynn. The trail leads to refugees from the former Yugoslavia and atrocities committed during the conflict in Bosnia in the 1990s. Jules Carlisle’s firm, as well as the police and MI5, become involved in uncovering the network organising this human traffic and whilst Jules’ unconventional upbringing might prove useful to the investigation, her chaotic private life threatens to derail her legal career before it begins as well as distracting her from close and personal danger.
Death on the Appian Way - Kenneth Benton

Kenneth Benton’s 1974 novel is an examination political chicanery and corruption in the last decade of the Roman Republic, which will appeal to fans of Robert Harris’ ‘Cicero’ trilogy. Indeed Cicero plays a key role in the novel, as does the notorious ‘socialite’ Clodia, sister (and possible lover) of the street-fighting politician Clodius Pulcher. Set between the years 63-52 BC, with the power struggle between Caesar and Pompey looming and based on historical incidents and trial proceedings, Death on the Appian Way is a seriously neglected historical novel by an author who made his name with contemporary political adventure thrillers. Kenneth Benton (1909-1999) succeeded Dick Francis as Chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association in 1974 less than five years after publication of his first novel. Benton took up thriller writing only on retirement from a thirty-year career as an MI6 officer, serving initially in Vienna in 1937, then in Riga, Madrid and Rome during World War II and after the war in South America, where several of his spy novels were set. For a time, between 1941 and 1943, his immediate boss in the ‘Iberian section’ of MI6 was a certain Kim Philby.
Patterns in the Dust - Lesley Grant-Adamson

Robin’s brave joke that first day came back to her. ‘All paths lead to the graveyard.’ Now it didn’t seem witty, it was mere fact… Nether Hampton appears on the surface to be the classic Somerset village. All the ingredients are there: the traditional village pub, the |Gothic church, fox-hunting squires, wealthy incomers, crusty old retired generals, an archaeologist digging up the remains of a Norman castle and, this being the 1980s, even some young, tearaway punks. Into these placid surroundings drops Rain Morgan, gossip columnist for the Daily Post, simply looking to relax away from the Fleet Street rat race. Almost immediately, the bodies begin to turn up. Born in London in 1942, Lesley Grant-Adamson made her name as a journalist, notably with The Guardian, before turning to writing crime fiction in 1985. Patterns in the Dust, her first novel, saw the debut of her series heroine Rain Morgan and on first publication was described as a ‘classic English whodunit’ by the Sunday Telegraph. Apart from her novels, Lesley has also written short stories and non-fiction, including a guide to Writing Crime and Suspense Fiction and in 1994 she became the first crime writer to be appointed Writer in Residence to a British university. She currently lives in Suffolk.
Guilty Knowledge - Lesley Grant-Adamson

Gossip-columnist Rain Morgan is dispatched to the French Riviera to interview painter Sabine Jourdain, part of the coterie (and mistress) of the legendary octogenarian artist Marius Durance. Rain is accompanied by her lover Oliver, though their relationship is running far from smoothly, but neither of them suspects that the glamorous world of art dealers and their luxury yacht lifestyle in Antibes could be so firmly based on greed, pride and dubious loyalties. And then the dead body of Sabine Jourdain is hauled from the harbour…. When Guilty Knowledge was first published in 1986, Woman magazine acclaimed ‘an outstanding new writer’ and the Sunday Times noted that its ‘Fine, confident brushwork catches every nuance of fraud and worse’.
Wild Justice - Lesley Grant-Adamson

Fleet Street in the 1980s during a heat-wave, a setting which positively thrives on intrigue and where the phrase ‘stab in the back’ is synonymous with a journalist being summarily sacked, often whilst in the pub. The Daily Post has a new proprietor who seems determined to drive the paper down-market, promote extreme political views and ride roughshod over the trades unions and industrial relations. Gossip columnist Rain Morgan feels far from secure in her job, but neither does anyone else, especially when the new proprietor is found, quite literally, stabbed in the back at his desk. During a chaotic summer, life in the offices of the Daily Post becomes even more chaotic than usual, with invasions by protestors (both left and right wing), a heightened sense of megalomania, jealousy and paranoia, the discovery of typewritten death threats and the intervention of the bizarre, publicity-seeking psychic Ruby Dobby. And then knives, similar if not identical to the murder weapon, begin to be delivered to various members of staff, including Rain.
Foiled Again - Peter Guttridge

An “accidental” death during a fencing match in New York and the definitely not accidental stabbing with a sabre of the promoter of the match in – of all places – Ramsbottom in Lancashire cannot be connected, surely? Nick Madrid, fencer, yoga practitioner and accident-prone journalist aims to find out and his often erring aim takes him via a club for sado-masochists, a bizarre art exhibition called ‘The Shock of the Poo’, the history of the British Union of Fascists, a coven of aggressive Sylvia Plath devotees and the mystery of just why Madrid is such an unusual surname in Burnley. Nick’s hilarious stumbling after the truth takes him from the desolate Lancashire moors to the steamy swamps of Florida, pursued by Russian Mafiosi and Colombian drug dealers and, as usual, he manages to lose all his clothes (all done in the best possible taste, of course) and be attacked by the local wildlife. Peter Guttridge’s comic thrillers starring Nick Madrid combined ‘a deep affection for the worst of Fleet Street’ (The Guardian) with outrageous farce and the quickfire gags of a stand-up comedian. Minette Walters called them: ‘Whacky…Hilarious…A great read’ and Deborah Moggach rated them ‘Great fun’.
Cast Adrift - Peter Guttridge

Nick Madrid: the continuing story of a life lived badly. Amiable, accident-prone journalist Nick Madrid has done some competitive fencing in the past and keeps fit by practising astanga vinyasa yoga. He is also something of a film buff, all of which qualify him as the prime (and only) candidate for the job of replacement stuntman on a low-budget (a very low-budget) pirate film (and musical) being shot in the Caribbean. With an oddball cast of Hollywood rejects and has-beens, not to mention a cameo appearance by Madrid’s best friend Bridget ‘The Bitch of the Broadsheets’ Frost, dodgy props and a Second Unit which seems to be very busy doing something totally unconnected with the film, there seems little chance of sticking to the script. To confuse matters further, real, modern-day pirates turn up and the principle cast members are shipwrecked on an island with the sole survivor of Cast Adrift, a reality television game show gone horribly (very horribly) wrong. To add to the chaos, Nick, as usual, ends up naked and once again at the mercy of the predatory wildlife. And just what did happen to the original stuntman? Described as ‘Agatha Christie on laughing gas’, Peter Guttridge’s whacky, over-the-top comedy thrillers quickly found fans among the some of the top names in British crime writing. Val McDermid said of them:‘Managed the rare double of making me laugh out loud and wince in sympathy…enormous fun’ and the late Reginald Hill described the Nick Madrid series as: ‘A fast moving, laugh-a-line frolic…we gasp with amazement, excitement and amusement.’
Escapade - Walter Satterthwait

Introducing ‘The Pinkerton Pair’ – the cool and urbane Phil Beaumont, detective with the famous Pinkerton Agency, and Miss Jane Turner, an innocent English rose anxious to walk on the wild side of life. It is the summer of 1921 and the guests are arriving at the stately country house (haunted, of course) of Lord Purleigh in Devon; among them a Viennese psychoanalyst, a mysterious medium there to conduct the obligatory seances which were all the rage, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of Sherlock Holmes and the great escapologist and showman Harry Houdini. Ostensibly hired to act as Houdini’s bodyguard, following threats from a jealous fellow magician, Phil Beaumont finds himself casting a wise-cracking American eye over English high society whilst dealing with the energetic attentions of Lady Purleigh’s daughter and having to solve the murder – in a locked room – of the wheelchair bound head of the family, the Earl of Axminster. With assistants such as Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, the case should not be difficult, though of course it is, but the one who shows the most promise could be Jane Turner… When published in the USA in 1995, the Los Angeles Times called Escapade: ‘A classy and classic whodunnit…A seemingly effortless, beguiling style and a mesmerizing story smartly told.’ This will be its first UK publication.
Masquerade - Walter Satterthwait

Masquerade – by Walter Satterthwait The second case for ‘The Pinkerton Pair’: Phil Beaumont, the laconic professional (“Are all the Pinkertons as good looking as you are?” “All of them,” I said. “It’s a requirement.”) and the innocent, but far from naïve Jane Turner who is keen to earn her spurs with the famous detective agency (“I am not only a femme fatale, I am also a Pinkerton.”) The pair are employed to investigate the death of rich American publisher Richard Forsythe, supposedly killed as part of a suicide pact with his German lover in his Paris apartment. As Jane Turner travels undercover as a governess with members of the family across France, Beaumont is plunged into the heady world of 1923 Parisian society and underworld, literally, from the elegant cafes down into its sewers and catacombs. It is a world populated by famous and often dangerous eccentrics, including the socially inept and fantastically clumsy Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Erik Satie, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, Sybil Norton – an English detective novelist famous for her book The Mysterious Affair at Pyles – and Henri Ledoq, a French policeman with more interest in fine wines and gourmet dining than in detection. First UK publication.
Cavalcade - Walter Satterthwait

Germany 1923 and that seemingly ill-matched pair of Pinkerton detectives Phil Beaumont and Jane Turner are facing their most dangerous assignment. In a Berlin park, supposedly at a secret meeting, a little-known but on-the-rise German politician is the target of an assassination attempt and the Pinkertons are hired to track down the sniper. The first question they face is just who is this Adolf Hitler and why would anyone want to kill him? It turns out, quite a few people, not the least some in his own fledgling National Socialist party (and not to mention a passing Englishman called Household). A trail of murders lead ‘The Pinkerton Pair’ from Berlin night clubs such as the Mikado Bar and the Black Cat Cabaret, which offer rather specialised entertainment, to an Institute of Sexology and then, after changing trains with a certain Mr Norris, to Bayreuth and Munich to meet, among others, the Wagner family, Rudolf Hess and Hermann Goering, accompanied by Hitler’s best friend Putzi Hanfstaengl, who may not be the genial host he pretends to be. First UK publication.
Falconer and the Rain of Blood - Ian Morson

It shall rain a shower of blood and a raging famine shall afflict mankind.... Oxford in 1275 becomes a quarantined city living in fear as an ancient prophecy seems to be coming true; but does the prophecy refer to the plague or to the rise of political opposition to King Edward I? Both scenarios are equally dangerous for Oxford and its inhabitants but Regent Master William Falconer’s troubles start with the theft of books from the University which lead to murder. More murders follow and it becomes clear that someone is ruthlessly determined to make the mythical prophecies of Merlin come true. Published for the first time, Falconer and the Rain of Blood is the launch title for Ostara Originals and the ninth in Ian Morson’s best-selling Falconer series set in medieval Oxford.
Callan Uncovered - James Mitchell

A ‘must read’ for all fans of the iconic television series Callan. The first-ever compilation of Callan short stories written by creator James Mitchell between 1967 and 1976, never published in book form before. Callan Uncovered also includes a Mitchell Outline Treatment for a Callan episode and a previously unseen full-length script – Goodbye Mary Lee – which was never filmed. Edited by Mike Ripley, with a special introduction by James Mitchell’s son and literary executor, Peter.
Callan Uncovered Volume 2 - James Mitchell

Following the success of the Callan Uncovered anthology Ostara, working with a network of dedicated Callan fans have uncovered a further 15 short stories written by James Mitchell for the Sunday Express, including the very first one commissioned: File on the Happy Hippy from September, 1970 when the iconic television series was at the height of its popularity. These 15 stories have never been reprinted or collected in book form before and will be augmented in this second collection by the James Mitchell script of an early Callan episode Goodness Burns Too Bright, reconstructed by editor Mike Ripley. Broadcast on 29th July 1967 as part of the first series, no known copy of Goodness Burns Too Bright is thought to exist, making it one of the infamous “lost” episodes.
I Meant To Be A Lawyer: A Family Memoir - Janet Cohen

Janet Cohen actually meant to be a barrister and swank around impounding oil tankers like her mentors at Cambridge, but her plans did not survive the first contact with the twin enemies of a male dominated society and the need to fit her life around love and marriage. This is the story, familiar she hopes, to many capable women, of the zig-zags necessary to find and keep a successful career and a loving husband and family. She tells it like it was, the often desperate and only partially successful efforts to keep a career and a marriage and later a family all going at once. This is a story of a long and unusual working life starting with scenario writing for the US Department of Defence in the Vietnam war and moving through a career in the civil service to a merchant bank and multiple non-executive directorships, including a spell at the Ministry of Defence and a long run at the London Stock Exchange Group, to the House of Lords as Labour Peer and the people she met on the way from Tiny Rowland to Margaret Thatcher and John Major to (Lord) George Robertson. Her career story is interspersed with a deeply personal account of her family of origin, a long and loving marriage and the difficulties and pleasures of rearing three lively talented children all of whom refused to go anywhere near any career favoured by either of their parents.
Bodies in the Bookshop - Len Tyler & Ayo Onatade

Conceived by Richard Reynolds, edited by L C Tyler and Ayo Onatade,the brief, stories based on any or all of four themes: bookshops,Cambridge, books, and libraries. Twenty seasoned writers answered the call providing killer plots for twenty mysteries all with a literary flavour. Chase down the criminals in new stories featuring Carole & Jude, Gary Goodhew, the Good Thief, and the redoubtable Baroness “Jack” Troutbeck, by their respective creators: Simon Brett, Alison Bruce, Chris Ewan, and Ruth Dudley Edwards. Uncover further misdeeds, with enticing offerings from Kate Charles, Ann Cleeves, Judith Cutler, Ruth Downie, Stella Duffy, Martin Edwards, Christopher Fowler, Michael Gregorio, Susanna Gregory & Simon Beaufort, Elly Griffiths, Jenna Hawkins, Suzette A Hill, Peter Lovesey, Michelle Spring, Andrew Taylor, and L C Tyler. Their works, collectively, feature every crime in the book.
Cambridge - Myriads of Misdeeds - Pippa Macallister

Imagine the tranquil scene of punts gliding along the river Cam, students strolling out of ancient buildings and lurking in the shadows the odd deadly fellow. The city of Cambridge provides a rich resource for writers of detective stories, with the colleges of Trinity, St John’s and King’s sharing the distinction of being the most popular. Cambridge - Myriads of Misdeeds catalogues crime, thriller, and mystery fiction titles that are either set in or have a Cambridge association reminding readers of old friends and books they may have missed. A valuable and enlightening resource for lovers of Cambridge.
Snake Water - Alan Williams

‘Hitzi Leiter and Sammy Ryderbeit...both used to guns, both self-confessed killers, both slightly unbalanced.... They were the experts after all. Hitzi knew how to get back to the river, Ryderbeit knew how to recognise raw diamonds when he saw them. All Ben and Mel had done was supply the cash. They were expendable now.’
The Eliminator - Andrew York

Jonas Wilde is The Eliminator, British Intelligence’s officially sanctioned assassin with over 30 successful ‘eliminations’ to his credit. Dour and taciturn, Wilde carries out his orders without gadgets or weapons, other than his bare hands, Wilde has a weakness only for glamorous women, exotic cocktails, the more alcoholic the better, and the yacht in his Channel Island base. But when he suggests to his handlers that he wants to opt out of his murderous life, he is given one ‘last’ assignment: to kill a defecting Czech scientist currently held in a safe house in England by the CIA. The only problem is that Wilde’s employers and the American CIA are supposed to be on the same side.... Aren’t they?
The Predator - Andrew York

‘You have not killed him?’ The man spoke Italian. She rested two fingers on Klaeger’s neck. ‘He’s not dead yet.’ ‘Glorious will be pleased,’ the man said. ‘There are things she wishes to learn, from this man, before he dies.’
The Deviator - Andrew York

The Eliminator is the killer whose bare hands are usually his deadliest weapon. Langtree scrambled out of the car. He was shouting, but his words were unintelligible. Wilde caught his shoulder, jerked him to a standstill and turned him round in the same instant, released him and swung his right hand, upwards now, seeking the base of Langtree’s skull. Langtree dropped without a sound. But he had been too relaxed, already inert; it had not felt right.
The Pass Beyond Kashmir - Berkely Mather

“Oil – all the oil in the world; on top of the bloody Himalayas!” Start a rumour about oil being found in the most unlikely spot and they’ll bite at it… even if the rumour stems from the ravings of a delirious survivor of an ill-fated wartime surveying expedition to the foothills of Tibet. Years later, finding the missing papers of that expedition becomes a high priority for spies, mercenaries, oil companies and governments.
The Terminators - Berkely Mather

I said, ‘I haven’t much time, Grant, so you can either answer my questions or I’ll have this Pathan take you outside and cut your throat.’ He blinked and shivered and his tongue flickered round his dry lips. ‘There’s no need for that,’ he bleated. ‘What is it you want to know?’ ‘Who were those people you were handing us over to?’ ‘I don’t know.’ I told Safaraz to give him a Peshawar shave. He chuckled and bent forward and got a handful of Grant’s hair and jerked his head back so that the skin of his throat was stretched tight, then he stroked him gently on the carotid with the razor edge of his knife. Grant screamed.
Cold War - David Brierley

I kill, therefore I am.....They were swift. The first time they tried to kill me was that same evening.... Introducing Cody, a disillusioned 28-year-old CIA-trained agent now living in Paris; or to be more accurate, trying to stay alive in Paris as she finds herself involved in an international conspiracy which threatens to destabilise France in the middle of a Presidential election. And if you want to kill somebody in France, during an election would be the perfect time.... On first publication in 1979 Cold War earned author David Brierley the accolade “a new name joins the world’s greatest spy fiction writers” and his heroine Cody was quickly recognised as an agent just as tough and resourceful as a Bond or a Quiller.
Big Bear, Little Bear - David Brierley

Orris was careful not to say too much; never volunteer information to a man with a gun; nor to a woman. He was the Depot’s best man in the field: he was proficient with gun, knife and hands; when he stood still he went unnoticed; he moved fast without hurrying; he was infinitely plausible when questioned; but once you’ve been at the wrong end of a rifle, everything changes. For days after you see colours more vividly, the outlines of familiar objects are sharper. Orris well knew that four years in this field and you were an old fox or you were dead.
Undertow - Desmond Cory

Moreno was a double agent in wartime and a psychopathic killer in peacetime. Now out of prison and working clandestinely for the KGB in Franco’s Spain, he faces the one man able – and prepared – to bring him down, the freelance British agent Johnny Fedora. Described as “the thinking man’s James Bond”, Fedora as created by Desmond Cory first appeared in print in 1951, two years before Bond made his debut in Casino Royale. Fedora was to feature in some 15 novels over a period of 20 years and Undertow is the first of what was to become known as the ‘Feramontov Quintet’ – five novels which charted the duel between Fedora and Feramontov, his KGB nemesis. In 1965, the influential American critic Anthony Boucher wrote: “For my money, Johnny Fedora, professional killer for British Intelligence, more than deserves to take over James Bond’s avid audience.”
Black Camelot - Duncan Kyle

Among the trees they halted and looked up through the budding branches at the south face of the Wewelsburg. Twin round towers stood at either end of the great castle wall, which was still decorated with the inset ownership marks of the Bishops of Paderborn. The fortress looked now as it must have looked for centuries; grey and strong and impregnable. ‘How the hell,’ Conway asked, almost with indignation, ‘do you expect to break into that?’
Cage of Ice - Duncan Kyle

We were alone on the Polar Sea.From this time on, as we approached Soviet territory, an armed and fast-moving party, there could be no question what we were, no possibility that we were about any lawful business; for nobody had lawful business here….If we were picked up, by radar, seismograph or anything else, we’d be tracked in and a hot reception would be waiting. All we could do was go ahead boldly. Novaya Zemlya loomed out of the Arctic night at eight thirty-six p.m.
Terror's Cradle - Duncan Kyle

The Holm of Noss – an uninhabited vertical rock rising 150-feet out of the stormy seas of the Shetlands – the only means of approach, a precarious ‘Tyrolean traverse’ cradle. I’d got the cradle over the cliff edge now and I hesitated a long minute before I could force myself to climb in. As I did, the rope sagged under my weight, the cradle rocked terrifyingly and I could hear my own uncontrolled grunt of panic…I couldn’t see what was beneath, and I was insanely glad I couldn’t…If my hand slipped, the cradle would bucket away down the slope… I’d be thrown out and flung into the depths below. When I realized it could slide no further and that I was really across, actually on the Holm itself, I raised my body to look cautiously over the side…at the dark figure of a man. His back was to the moon so his face was in shadow, but the moon gleamed on something else: on the blue barrel of the weapon in his hands.
Time is an Ambush - Francis Clifford

‘Time is an ambush, señor. It always wins in the end.’ He came to a halt by the terrace door, developing an apparent interest in something out at sea. “Would it surprise you to know that Señor Scheele was not – as everyone supposed – drowned?” I snorted. “It would astonish me.” “In that case I should like to see your astonishment.” He turned with theatrical effect. “The fact is that Señor Scheele was shot.”
The Grosvenor Square Goodbye - Francis Clifford

A lone, crazed sniper starts shooting at random from the Shelley Hotel, dead opposite the US Embassy. The first victim dies at the foot of the Roosevelt monument. The rifleman then breaks into a bedroom and takes the couple there as hostages. Because of the US Embassy, police response is quick and massive and the book becomes a battle of wits with the sniper (who demands to see the American ambassador) as police and security services try to discover who he is and what he wants
Of All The Bloody Cheek - Frank McAuliffe

" Exciting,hard-edged, full of tradecraft,whimsical eccentricity and rough-hewn philosophy" Lee Child. Meet Augustus Mandrell – but be careful when you do… Mandrell Ltd. is a specialist firm for whom no ‘commission’ – providing the remuneration is considerable and forthcoming – is impossible. Success and complete discretion is assured by the company’s most efficient and experienced (in fact, only) executive: Augustus Mandrell. Mandrell Ltd. always guarantees satisfaction in their one and only sphere of business – murder – but if you are thinking of hiring their expertise, be careful. No one is sure who Augustus Mandrell is, where he came from or where he will turn up next. He is a man of many disguises and expert assassin and he doesn’t leave witnesses. Written with tongue firmly in cheek in a haughty English ‘voice’ (as if P.G. Wodehouse had turned to the Dark Side) but actually by an American, Frank McAuliffe, the three volumes of the ‘Mandrell Commissions’ became instant classics of comic crime-writing when first published between 1965 and 1971. American reviewers praised their ‘brazenly outrageous gallows humour’ as ‘hilarious and offbeat’ and Augustus Mandrell was described as having ‘the elusiveness of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes, the assassin soul of James Bond and the raffish charm of Raffles.’ The most distinguished American critic Anthony Boucher called the books ‘audacious and amusing’ and although not widely published in the UK, the ‘Mandrell Commissions’ acquired at least one dedicated British admirer, the internationally-bestselling thriller writer Lee Child who describes them as: ‘Exciting, hard-edged, full of tradecraft, whimsical eccentricity and rough-hewn philosophy.’ Now the first three volumes of the Augustus Mandrell sagaeach containing four inter-linked ‘commissions’ set in the closing stages and immediate aftermath of World War II,are available simultaneously as Top Notch Thrillers: Of All The Bloody Cheek!, Rather A Vicious Gentlemanand For Murder I Charge More (which won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America).
Rather A Vicious Gentleman - Frank McAuliffe

" Exciting,hard-edged, full of tradecraft,whimsical eccentricity and rough-hewn philosophy" Lee Child. Meet Augustus Mandrell – but be careful when you do… Mandrell Ltd. is a specialist firm for whom no ‘commission’ – providing the remuneration is considerable and forthcoming – is impossible. Success and complete discretion is assured by the company’s most efficient and experienced (in fact, only) executive: Augustus Mandrell. Mandrell Ltd. always guarantees satisfaction in their one and only sphere of business – murder – but if you are thinking of hiring their expertise, be careful. No one is sure who Augustus Mandrell is, where he came from or where he will turn up next. He is a man of many disguises and expert assassin and he doesn’t leave witnesses. Written with tongue firmly in cheek in a haughty English ‘voice’ (as if P.G. Wodehouse had turned to the Dark Side) but actually by an American, Frank McAuliffe, the three volumes of the ‘Mandrell Commissions’ became instant classics of comic crime-writing when first published between 1965 and 1971. American reviewers praised their ‘brazenly outrageous gallows humour’ as ‘hilarious and offbeat’ and Augustus Mandrell was described as having ‘the elusiveness of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes, the assassin soul of James Bond and the raffish charm of Raffles.’ The most distinguished American critic Anthony Boucher called the books ‘audacious and amusing’ and although not widely published in the UK, the ‘Mandrell Commissions’ acquired at least one dedicated British admirer, the internationally-bestselling thriller writer Lee Child who describes them as: ‘Exciting, hard-edged, full of tradecraft, whimsical eccentricity and rough-hewn philosophy.’ Now the first three volumes of the Augustus Mandrell sagaeach containing four inter-linked ‘commissions’ set in the closing stages and immediate aftermath of World War II,are available simultaneously as Top Notch Thrillers: Of All The Bloody Cheek!, Rather A Vicious Gentlemanand For Murder I Charge More (which won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America).
For Murder I Charge More - Frank McAuliffe

" Exciting,hard-edged, full of tradecraft,whimsical eccentricity and rough-hewn philosophy" Lee Child. Meet Augustus Mandrell – but be careful when you do… Mandrell Ltd. is a specialist firm for whom no ‘commission’ – providing the remuneration is considerable and forthcoming – is impossible. Success and complete discretion is assured by the company’s most efficient and experienced (in fact, only) executive: Augustus Mandrell. Mandrell Ltd. always guarantees satisfaction in their one and only sphere of business – murder – but if you are thinking of hiring their expertise, be careful. No one is sure who Augustus Mandrell is, where he came from or where he will turn up next. He is a man of many disguises and expert assassin and he doesn’t leave witnesses. Written with tongue firmly in cheek in a haughty English ‘voice’ (as if P.G. Wodehouse had turned to the Dark Side) but actually by an American, Frank McAuliffe, the three volumes of the ‘Mandrell Commissions’ became instant classics of comic crime-writing when first published between 1965 and 1971. American reviewers praised their ‘brazenly outrageous gallows humour’ as ‘hilarious and offbeat’ and Augustus Mandrell was described as having ‘the elusiveness of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes, the assassin soul of James Bond and the raffish charm of Raffles.’ The most distinguished American critic Anthony Boucher called the books ‘audacious and amusing’ and although not widely published in the UK, the ‘Mandrell Commissions’ acquired at least one dedicated British admirer, the internationally-bestselling thriller writer Lee Child who describes them as: ‘Exciting, hard-edged, full of tradecraft, whimsical eccentricity and rough-hewn philosophy.’ Now the first three volumes of the Augustus Mandrell sagaeach containing four inter-linked ‘commissions’ set in the closing stages and immediate aftermath of World War II,are available simultaneously as Top Notch Thrillers: Of All The Bloody Cheek!, Rather A Vicious Gentlemanand For Murder I Charge More (which won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America).
The Terrible Door - George Sims

‘I felt a jarring push in my side that took me a long way towards the stairs. I half turned to see the big chap coming up behind me and then another push caught me off balance and I fell down the stairs taking a picture with me, landing in a heap with it at the bottom. There was a taste of salt in my mouth. The tall minatory figure hung over me as I tried to get my breath and think straight. It seemed that I had given offence, in some unknown way, to this huge lunatic. ‘He narrowed his eyes and said slowly, “I’m going to hurt you, sonny.” His face remained quite calm.
A Magnum for Schneidner - James Mitchell

Schneider. ‘He has to die,’ said Hunter, ‘and you may be the man for the job.’ ‘What’s he done?’ ‘That is the second time you have asked that question. It isn’t your concern. Your business is execution and nothing else – not clouding your mind with reason and explanation. Do as you’re told and do it without question. Or get out now. He’s in a red file, Callan. That’s reason enough.’ ‘All right,’ said Callan. ‘All right.’
Russian Roulette - James Mitchell

Hunter said, ‘They made a try last night.’ ‘A try?’ said Meres. ‘They didn’t succeed?’ ‘Far from it,’ Hunter said. ‘It was something of a fiasco, I’m afraid. Callan killed one of them – and both their dogs.’ ‘He did that without a gun?’ ‘Certainly,’ said Hunter. ‘He’s very able you know.’
Death and Bright Water - James Mitchell

Callan, the most ruthlessly efficient member of British Intelligence’s own assassination bureau known only as The Section, had made many deadly enemies within Moscow’s KGB. So why were they now recommending him for job? It’s not a job Callan wants, he just wants to get out of the whole sordid business, but if he doesn’t take the job – rescuing a radical Greek politician’s daughter from her kidnappers on Crete – then Callan might just find himself in one of the Section’s infamous Red Files. ‘I’m finished with you,’ said Callan. ‘Finished with the Section. You know that.’ ‘Nobody’s ever completely finished with me,’ said Hunter. First published in 1974, this was the third full-length Callan novel by his creator James Mitchell, back in print for the first time in 38 years.
Smear Job - James Mitchell

First published in 1975, Smear Job was the fourth novel to feature David Callan, the iconic secret agent created by James Mitchell. Callan’s trade is killing – and though it’s a profession he despises, he is supremely good at it. As Smear Job begins, Callan is attempting to ‘go straight’ in a legitimate (almost) security consultancy business with his pungent friend Lonely, but soon he is made an offer he can hardly afford to refuse. However, when the offer comes from the ruthless Hunter, head of The Section Callan used to work for, refusal might be better for the health. In a multi-layered plot the action moves swiftly and violently from Sicily to gangland London to California and back to Europe and the only thing that can be relied on is Callan’s ability to be quickest on the draw when the chips are down.
Bonfire Night - James Mitchell

Written at the very end of his life when he was terminally ill, Bonfire Night was the last novel by James Mitchell to feature his most famous creation, David Callan. Out of print for more than a decade and never before published in paperback, Bonfire Night has been the rarest of the five Callan novels, eagerly sought after by dedicated fans of the iconic Callan television series (1967-72). As James Mitchell’s son Peter explains in a poignant Introduction especially written for this new edition, Bonfire Night was never really meant to be published, but rather written as a form of therapy. The novel undoubtedly has major structural flaws but also many flashes of Mitchell’s trademark cynical wit and his flair for fast-paced action, as he introduces the reader to a Callan who is now wealthy and living the high-life with his own ‘castle’ in Spain, a Lonely who is even wealthier and almost changed beyond recognition, and a new ‘Hunter’ – who is now a woman. Fortunately, Callan has not forgotten his old skills…
Innocent Bystanders - James Mitchell (writing as James Munro)

They set Craig up – he shot them down! was the tagline on the poster for the 1972 film version of The Innocent Bystanders, which starred Stanley Baker as tough-as-nails British agent John Craig on the track of a missing Russian scientist. The trail begins in a Soviet gulag in Siberia and the hunt leads Craig to America, Turkey and Cyprus. Very quickly Craig realises that there is no-one on this violence-strewn journey he can trust, except himself. Under the pen name James Munro, James Mitchell created the hard-man secret agent Craig some three years before his more famous fictional spy Callan, but it Craig who was seen for a while as the natural successor to James Bond. The Innocent Bystanders was the fourth and final book to feature John Craig and was first published in 1969, it has been out of print in the UK for 44 years.
The Man Who Sold Death - James Munro

The best-selling thriller which introduced John Craig who, in 1964, was seriously tipped as the logical successor to James Bond following the death of Ian Fleming. Craig is a man hardened by war, as a decorated officer in the elite Special Boat Section and subsequently as a gun-runner along the North African coast. Attempting to go straight he becomes a successful businessman back in England, but his past catches up with him, literally, with a bang as fanatical French soldiers resisting the move for independence for Algeria mark him for death. A crack pistol shot and a karate black belt, Craig is well-equipped to take the fight to the enemy but only with the help of the sinister Loomis, head of British Intelligence’s ruthless ‘Department K’. James Munro was the pen-name of James Mitchell, who went on to even greater success with his novels, short stories and television scripts for his iconic spy Callan.
The Diamond Hook - James Quartermain

When cynical private detective Raven meets ‘a wild girl shot full of heroin and whisky’, who also carries a pistol, in a Mayfair mews, it is only the start of a tortuous and violent case involving the mysterious Diamond Ltd corporation and a trade in heroin on an industrial scale which is blighting the Swinging Sixties. Raven is plunged into the dark side of the era of ‘peace and love’, neither of which are in much evidence as he follows the heroin trail to France after being forcibly turned into an addict himself. First published in 1970, The Diamond Hook was one of earliest thrillers to take a brutal, no-holds-barred look at the growing traffic in drugs. ‘James Quartermain’ was the pen-name of novelist, playwright and illustrator James Broom-Lynne, who designed the book jackets for some of the best-selling thrillers of the 1960s, including The Dolly Dolly Spy and several of Dick Francis’ thrillers.
The XYY Man - Kenneth Royce

Spider Scott is a cat burglar – and a very good one - diagnosed as having an extra ‘Y’ chromosome which predisposes the carrier to a propensity for crime and anti -social behaviour. Fresh out of prison (again), Spider is offered job by British Intelligence which, as it involves burglary and safe-cracking, is right up Spider’s street. The object of the robbery is to recovery a photograph and documents which could incriminate the current Foreign Secretary from a safe deep inside the Chinese Legation in London.Unfortunately for Spider the KGB and the CIA are also keen to acquire the contents of the safe and the Chinese are determined to get them back.Caught in an ever-tightening web and seemingly out of his depth, Spider is harried and chased around a dark and dangerous London with only his underworld contacts and criminal skills to rely on, all the time under the suspicious and unforgiving eye of his nemesis, Detective Sergeant Alf Bulman. Kenneth Royce’s 1970 novel gave birth to not one, but three popular television series: The XYY Man starring Stephen Yardley as Spider Scott ran on ITV 1976-77 and then the character of DS Bulman, played by Don Henderson, appeared in the series Strangers (1978-82) and then, as a private investigator, got his own spin-off series Bulman (1985-87).
The Concrete Boot - Kenneth Royce

A case of treason ‘which would make Burgess, MacLean and Philby appear like schoolboys sneaking to teacher’, a violent but extremely patriotic Soho gangster with an unhealthy interest in the workings of Heathrow airport and notorious cat burglar fished out of the Thames, his feet tethered in concrete. Connecting them is Willie ‘Spider’ Scott, a man cursed with the ‘XYY’ chromosome which genetically predisposes him to a life of crime. Spider is trying to go straight, running the XYY Travel Agency, but it is his skills as a criminal rather than a travel agent which appear to be most in demand.
The Wilby Conspiracy - Peter Driscoll

When first published in 1972, the New York Magazine described The Wilby Conspiracy thus: ‘The headlong action moves from Cape Town to Johannesburg to the bush, in a high-tension game of political intrigue. The plot is gripping and superbly ingenious. Beats Le Carré and the rest at their own game.’ The novel, which opens with an escape from the now infamous Robben Island prison received rave reviews from John Braine (‘Welcome to a new thriller master’), Len Deighton (‘It grabbed me on page one and kept going’) and Eric Ambler (‘The best chase story I have read for a long time’). Written at the time of South Africa’s repressive apartheid regime by a former Rand Daily Mail journalist, it was filmed in 1975, starring Michael Caine and Sidney Poitier.
In Connection With Kilshaw - Peter Driscoll

Northern Ireland in the early 1970s and ‘The Troubles’ are near to escalating into all-out civil war with two fanatical groups going head-to-head: James Kilshaw’s Ulster Vigilantes and Sullivan’s Volunteers, a Marxist breakaway faction of the IRA. When British Intelligence receives an anonymous offer to discredit the Protestant extremist Kilshaw, it sends former army officer Harry Finn into the Belfast underworld to find the proof. Instead he uncovers a ruthless conspiracy involving a shipment of smuggled weapons which, in the hands of either set of terrorists could spark the conflict. Betrayed on all sides with no one he can trust, Finn also discovers that at the heart of the conspiracy is a fall guy – Harry Finn himself. First published in 1974, In Connection With Kilshaw was praised for its ‘ruthlessly imposed suspense’ (The Times) and was favourably compared to the thrillers of Graham Greene and John Le Carré.
Night of Glass - Philip Purser

“What more natural, more unsuspicious than a routine visit from a couple of maintenance men armed with the proper passes?” “And who leave again smuggling someone out?” asked Nick. “Perhaps. But rather risky, eh? Since the electrified wire and the searchlights are there to prevent escapes, suppose the power were to be cut off at a pre-arranged moment...the someone could be waiting. It would be up to him.” “A time-bomb, you mean?” “Something like that.”
The Lusitania Plot - Raymond Hitchcock

“As a result of this U-boat war…America is tottering on the brink. Anti-German feeling is ready to bubble right over. All we want is one more little push. Something that would involve plenty of Uncle Sam’s nationals…One more act of German arrogance, one more example of their complete disregard of the rules of war.” On the afternoon of 7th May 1915 the ocean liner Lusitania rounded the Old Head of Kinsale in southern Ireland, on her return journey from New York to Liverpool, where a German U-boat lay in wait. The Lusitania was torpedoed and sank in under twenty minutes with the loss of over 1,100 lives – 124 of the victims being Americans. But what if two submarines had been planning an ambush – and one of them British? Based around the real World War I atrocity, Raymond Hitchcock’s gripping conspiracy thriller poses an outrageous plot to sacrifice the Lusitania in order to bring America into World War I. First published in 1979 under the title Attack The Lusitania
The Tunnellers - Raymond Hitchcock

It is 1917 and 90-feet beneath the German trenches on the Messines Ridge in Flanders, two young British Sappers are guarding 60,000 pounds of explosives designed to blow the enemy positions sky high. But the enemy is already tunnelling towards them. Raymond Hitchcock’s immaculately-researched World War I saga, first published in 1986, is a graphic description of trench warfare and the perilous work of the Tunnellers who fought their war beneath the trenches. The brutality of tunnel life, the tensions between officers and the men, the comradeship and the heroism of the battlefield are delicately contrasted with flashbacks to pre-war Somerset village life, making this a tense, exciting and surprisingly tender thriller.
Somewhere in England - Reg Gadney

He knew what would happen if it caught fire. Because once nitrate film begins to deteriorate it is described by the experts as ‘sticky’…at this point it becomes highly explosive… Academic David Peto’s research involves viewing hour-after-hour of Nazi propaganda films in a private archive on the desolate Suffolk coast. If that wasn’t harrowing enough, an explosion in the film store drops Peto into the middle of a conspiracy involving Middle Eastern intelligence agencies and the sinister ODESSA organisation. Could he have inadvertently identified a wanted Nazi war criminal on one of the films? A war criminal now living ‘somewhere in England’? Peto becomes ensnared in a dangerous game of hide-and-seek across London which culminates in an audacious burglary of the Imperial War Museum. First published in 1971 and described by the New Statesman as: ‘Tense, razor-sharp and excellent value’
Drawn Blanc - Reg Gadney

It is the fag-end of the 1960s and the British Secret Service is still reeling from the betrayals of the Philby era. Espionage is changing, with agents recruited on a freelance basis – small, individual jigsaw pieces in a much larger puzzle. One reluctant recruit is young Czech dissident O.B. Blanc, on the run accused of murdering a KGB officer and his mission to plant listening devices in a select London gentlemen’s club is anything but straightforward. Reg Gadney’s spare and icily convincing debut thriller, first published in 1970, was greeted with acclaim by critics who suggested comparisons with the work of Graham Greene and Franz Kafka.
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