Lord Francis Powerscourt is visited at home in London by the Bishop of Lynchester who wants his advice about the suspect for the death of an aged parishioner.
Powerscourt advises that discretion rather than accusation is the best way forward, but this is just the start of his association with the diocese of Lynchester. The death of the parishioner has left available a property in the cathedral close which traditionally the church rents out to a suitable tenant.
Four worthy candidates are nominated... and then one of them, the retail king of the south of England, is found dead in the house, poisoned by strychnine. So once again Powerscourt is summoned by the bishop as this time there is no doubt of foul play.
But there are many suspects from which to choose - there are the other candidates who want to live in that very desirable property... or could it be more complex than that? Very soon Powerscourt uncovers a trail of greed, deception and death which goes straight to the heart of the cathedral itself.
Ruso and Tilla and their new baby daughter have left Roman-occupied Britain - and the military - for Rome at the urging of Ruso's patron, Accius. Their excitement upon arriving is soon dulled by the discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too many doctors - some skilled, but others positively dangerous.
Ruso thinks he has been offered a reputable medical practice only to find that his predecessor, Doctor Kleitos, has fled, leaving a dead man in a barrel on the doorstep and the warning, "Be careful who you trust." Distracted by the body and his efforts to help Accius win the hand of a rich young heiress, Ruso makes a grave mistake, causing him to question both his competence and his integrity.
With Ruso's reputation under threat, he and Tilla must protect their small family from Doctor Kleitos's debt collectors and find allies in their new home while they track down the vanished doctor and find out the truth about the unfortunate man in the barrel.
During the dark days of World War I, a young British soldier asked Arthur Conan Doyle what Sherlock Holmes was doing to assist in the war effort. That encounter reputedly inspired the story "His Last Bow," in which the celebrated detective is drawn from his retirement to reunite with the ever-faithful Dr. Watson for their final challenge, unmasking a German spy.
Seven additional short stories, originally published in The StrandMagazine, recount episodes leading up to the master sleuth's grand finale. "The Bruce-Partington Plans," also involves espionage, this time in an earlier setting and concerning the recovery of purloined plans for building a submarine.
Other mysteries find Watson and Holmes pursuing a deposed dictator, unraveling a crime of passion, tracking down a foreign crime syndicate, outwitting a poisoner, investigating an heiress's disappearance, and interrupting their vacation in Cornwall to solve a devilish case of murder and madness.
The winter of 1353 has been appallingly wet, there is a fever outbreak amongst the poorer townspeople and the country is not yet fully recovered from the aftermath of the plague. The increasing reputation and wealth of the Cambridge colleges are causing dangerous tensions between the town, Church and University. Matthew Bartholomew is called to look into the deaths of three members of the University of who died from drinking poisoned wine, and soon he stumbles upon criminal activities that implicate his relatives, friends and colleagues - so he must solve the case before matters in the town get out of hand...
Identifying the murderer of the Chancellor of the University is not the only challenge facing physician Matthew Bartholomew. Many of his patients have been made worse by the ministrations of a 'surgeon' recently arrived from Nottingham, his sister is being rooked by the mason she has commissioned to build her husband's tomb, and his friend, Brother Michael, has been offered a Bishopric which will cause him to leave Cambridge.Brother Michael, keen to leave the University in good order, is determined that the new Chancellor will be a man of his choosing. The number of contenders putting themselves forward for election threatens to get out of control, then more deaths in mysterious circumstances make it appear that someone is taking extreme measures to manipulate the competition.With passions running high and a bold killer at large, both Bartholomew and Brother Michael fear the very future of the University is at stake.
Matthew Bartholomew, doctor of medicine and fellow of Michaelhouse, Cambridge, is travelling with a party from the college to accept the gift of the living of a parish in Grundisburgh, Suffolk. One of his companions, Unwin, an unworldly scholar, is to be installed as priest. When they arrive, they are immediately thrust into the machinations of local boundary disputes between three landowners, but all such squabbles seem mere trivia when Unwin is murdered in the very church which was to have been his home. While trying to investigate a possible motive for his killing, Bartholomew discovers that this is not the first unnatural death in the village - deaths which everyone has put down to the curse of the plague-dead village. He is of too practical a mind to believe the superstitions, but is he wily enough to work out the real motive behind the murders and who will gain from them?
'Who can I trust in this nest of vipers?'1661 is a year of destiny for France and its young king, Louis XIV.Cardinal Mazarin, the Chief Minister who has governed throughout the King's early years, lies dying. As a fierce power struggle develops to succeed him, a religious brotherhood, guardian of a centuries-old secret, also sees its chance to influence events.Gabriel de Pontbriand, an aspiring actor employed as secretary to Moliere, becomes unwittingly involved when documents stolen from Mazarin's palace fall into his hands. The coded papers will alter Gabriel's life for ever, and their explosive contents have the power to change the course of history for France and the rising Sun King himself.
Following a string of successful performances along the west coast, the Moscardi Circus is travelling by train to Hexham on the Newcastle to Carlisle Railway for their next show. Yet a collision on the track with a couple of sleepers causes pandemonium: passengers thrown about and animals escaping into the night. When the headless body of a woman is discovered in nearby woodland, Inspector Colbeck is desperate to lend assistance, believing the two incidents to be connected, however a reluctant Superintendent Tallis forbids him from doing so. Torn between his desire to detect and his duty as a father, Colbeck agrees, until contact from an old friend is made and Tallis relents.
London, 1905. Margaret Trant lives with her ailing, irascible mother in a dreary boarding house in St John's Wood. The pair have fallen on hard times, with only Margaret's meagre salary from a ramshackle import-export company keeping them afloat.
When a stranger on the tram hands her a newspaper open at the recruitment page, Margaret spots an advertisement that promises to 'open new horizons beyond your wildest dreams!'. After a gruelling interview, she finds herself in a new position as a secretary in a dingy backstreet shop. But all is not as it seems; she is in fact working for a highly secret branch of the intelligence service, Bureau 8, whose mission is to track down and neutralise a ruthless band of anarchists known as The Scorpions.
Margaret's guilty love of detective fiction scarcely prepares her for the reality of true criminality, and her journey of self-discovery forms the heart of this remarkable novel, as she discovers in herself resourcefulness, courage, independence and the first stirrings of love.
Two macabre discoveries in a single morning present an intriguing challenge for Detective Inspector Tom Harper Leeds, England. July, 1893. D.I. Tom Harper is witnessing the demonstration of a devastating new naval weapon, the torpedo, at Roundhay Park. The explosion brings up a body in the lake, a rope lashed tightly around its waist. At the same time, dredging operations in the River Aire are disrupted when a woman's severed leg floats to the water's surface, still clad in its stocking and boot. Could the two macabre discoveries be connected? Harper's investigations will lead him right to the heart of the criminal underworld that underpins the city - and into the path of a merciless killer.
Egypt, 1912. Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters's bestselling series.
Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia Peabody is relaxing in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into her chamber and utters a single word-"Murder"-before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he is carrying is a sheet of paper with Amelia's name, and a calling card bearing one word: "Judas." Most peculiarly, the stranger is wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye.
It quickly becomes apparent that someone has saved Amelia from a would-be assassin-someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid archaeologist. And there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos.
But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Armana, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic bust of Nefertiti, stepmother to King Tutankhamun.
For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge... and perhaps be unmasked at last.
Mrs Laetitia Rodd is the impoverished widow of an Archdeacon, living modestly in Hampstead with her landlady Mrs Bentley. She is also a private detective of the utmost discretion. In winter 1850, her brother Frederick, a criminal barrister, introduces her to Sir James Calderstone, a wealthy and powerful industrialist who asks Mrs Rodd to investigate the background of an 'unsuitable' woman his son intends to marry – a match he is determined to prevent.
In the guise of governess, she travels to the family seat, Wishtide, deep in the frozen Lincolnshire countryside, where she soon discovers that the Calderstones have more to hide than most. As their secrets unfold, the case takes an unpleasant turn when a man is found dead outside a tavern. Mrs Rodd's keen eyes and astute wits are taxed as never before in her search for the truth – which carries her from elite drawing rooms to London's notorious inns and its steaming laundry houses.
Dickensian in its scope and characters, The Secrets of Wishtide brings nineteenth century society vividly to life and illuminates the effect of Victorian morality on women's lives. Introducing an irresistible new detective, the first book in the Laetitia Rodd Mystery series will enthral and delight.