1926. The war-ravaged vineyards of France. In this masterpiece of suspense from CWA Historical Dagger Award–winner Barbara Cleverly, a nameless soldier plunges Scotland Yard inspector Joe Sandilands into a shifting world of deception, rage, and murder.…
A well-earned vacation takes a sharp detour when Sandilands is called to France, where a shell-shocked patient—a tragic casualty of war—is in the throes of a violent nightmare. Trying to determine the mystery man’s identity proves a difficult, internationally delicate task: several families are claiming the unknown soldier as their own.
But it is at a famed château, where the wine flows and disturbing secrets abound, that Sandilands meets a woman who takes his investigation in a chillingly different direction. Strong-willed and alluring Aline Houdart’s husband has been missing and presumed dead for nearly ten years. Her true motives are as elusive as the truth about a long-ago night…when a horrific crime was committed and lives changed forever. Now Sandilands, an ex-soldier himself, a man who has seen his share of bloodshed and sorrow, is waging his own battle for justice. It is a fight for his fallen comrades that will unmask a killer. Or bury the truth forever…
London. 1926. One war is over, another is beginning, and murder is sealed with a kiss….
At midnight she was ravishing: a tall redhead wearing emeralds and a low-cut dress. An hour later, in her room at the Ritz, she was dead, the jewels torn from her bludgeoned body. Thus begins Barbara Cleverly’s ingenious novel, another masterpiece of suspense from the CWA Golden Dagger Award—winning author.
With the help of a former comrade-at-arms and a society girl turned constable, Scotland Yard Inspector Joe Sandilands enters into the private world of Dame Beatrice Jagow-Joliffe–a hive of state secrets and sexual extravagance.
But as The Dame’s affairs are exposed, the case takes a sudden, strange turn. Because what Sandilands is about to discover are deceptions that go far beyond salacious scandal to betrayals that strike at the heart of a nation . . . and the ruthless heart of a killer.
In her award-winning mysteries–from The Last Kashmiri Rose to The Damascened Blade–Barbara Cleverly paints a dazzling portrait of the British Raj, infusing it with intrigue, enchantment, and menace. And in her detective hero Joe Sandilands, war veteran and Scotland Yard policeman, Cleverly gives us a gallant guide to this paradise lost. Having seen humankind at its worst, now, in a lush royal kingdom, Sandilands will see it at its most dangerously complex….
In northern India, Ranipur is renowned for its trove of priceless gems, its exquisite palace, and its medieval mores in matters involving men and women. But Ranipur’s prince is dying, and Joe has been sent to be Her Majesty’s witness to a charged battle of succession. With two heirs dead and another running for his life, Joe suspects that a murderer is hiding among the palace’s visitors and residents, from English opportunists to scorned wives and a dangerous seductress. Now, as a gilded, remote bastion teeters on the brink of chaos and a man-eating tiger prowls the nearby countryside, Joe must turn hunter–of a human, an animal, and the hunger that drives them both….
Simla 1922. While the rest of India bakes in the hot season, up in the pine-scented coolness of the Himalayan hills the English have recreated a vision of home. Here are half-timbered houses, amateur theatricals, gymkhanas and a glittering vice-regal court for the socialites. The summer capital of the British Raj is fizzing with the energy of the jazz age. It is toward this country that detective Joe Sandilands is heading as the guest of the governor of Bengal. But when Joe’s travelling companion, a Russian opera singer, is shot dead at his side on the road to Simla, he finds himself plunged into a murder investigation. As Joe begins to unravel the mystery which has its roots in the aftermath of the First World War, he discovers that behind the sparkling facade of Simla lies a trail of murder, vice and blackmail.