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Lucy Durmast waits patiently in front of the judge at her own murder trial, refusing to utter a single word. Kenneth Carline, an employee of her father’s, was found poisoned to death after eating a meal that Lucy herself had prepared.
Kenneth was set to marry another, and Lucy, it seems, was jealous. But what should have been an open-and-shut case of envy-driven murder becomes complicated when primary detective Trevor Porritt suffers permanent brain damage. C. D. Sloan inherits the file—and immediately begins poking holes in what looked like an airtight case. Why has the primary suspect gone mute? What was the victim doing with antinuclear pamphlets in his car? Was Detective Porritt’s run-in with the burglar an unhappy coincidence? And what part does the king of the African nation of Dlasa, a client of Lucy’s father, play in all this?
When someone connected to the case dies and the son of the king of Dlasa goes missing, panic begins to spread. Can Inspector Sloan and his hapless assistant, Constable Crosby, untangle this knotted web?
That Miss Beatrice Wansdyke had died is not particularly surprising. A chemistry mistress at the Girls’ Grammar School in Berebury, she was a longtime sufferer of diabetes who managed to live her modest life to a ripe old age. But one thing is odd—Beatrice Wansdyke died a very wealthy woman. What was an old schoolteacher doing with a small fortune?
Meanwhile, Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan, Calleshire’s finest investigator, learns he is about to become a father. But with ominous players hell-bent on pursuing Miss Wansdyke’s money, will Sloan live to see his child’s first birthday?
The annual Horticultural Society Flower Show would have gone off without a hitch were it not for one very pesky murder.
When nurse Joyce Cooper goes missing from the parish’s fortune-telling booth at the flower fair, her friends at the local church are immediately concerned. It’s not like this old lady, who plays the organ during service every Sunday without fail, and who, it’s told, lives for the purpose of helping others, to disappear without notice. So when she’s found strangled to death under a tarp, the community is thrown into an uproar.
Who better to calm the crowd than Calleshire’s greatest detective? Alongside his bumbling sidekick, Constable Crosby, C. D. Sloan runs through the bizarre list of suspects—the daughter of a deceased anthropologist, a greedy developer, a jealous tomato gardener, and a set of wealthy farmers—to find out who would have benefited most from the beloved nurse’s death. What he finds will astonish the entire village.
A new short story from CWA Diamond Dagger Award winner, Catherine Aird.
When Henry Tyler meets Malcolm Carruthers unexpectedly at the Mordaunt Club, the club frequented by workers from the Foreign Office, he is tasked with decoding an important message that might shed light on a possible traitor. As Tyler tries to decipher the code he has no idea that he's about to be schooled in the art of code-breaking by two very unexpected 'spies'.
There are rumblings throughout the campus of the University of Calleshire, talk of a sit-in, of revolt, of H? Chí Minh, of discontent. Malcolm Humbert has been expelled, and the students are livid. Meanwhile, the faculty is equally out of sorts—Hilda Linaker just wants to finish her treatise on Jane Austen, Bernard Watkinson is tired of dealing with the female students’ vehement—and possibly dangerous—opinions, and Simon Mautby can’t find a lab tech to help with his ecology experiments. When someone breaks into a dorm room, leaving behind little evidence but a single kernel of corn, it’s time to call in the police.
But no one—not the professors, the students, or even the great detective C. D. Sloan—could have predicted murder. A young woman finds a second-year student slumped against a cloister’s column, covered in blood. Before he dies, he manages to breathe the words “twenty-six minutes.”
The brilliant and acerbic inspector C. D. Sloan, recently reunited with his assistant, Detective Constable Crosby, must connect a seemingly unrelated burglary to a senseless murder—with nothing more to go on than those eerie last words.
Early one morning in the quiet English village of Larking, the body of a woman named Mrs. Jenkins is found in the road. Miles away, her daughter, Henrietta, receives the bad news while working in the university library. Poor Mrs. Jenkins appears to have been the victim of a horrible car accident.
When an autopsy proves not only that this was no accident but also that Mrs. Jenkins had never had a child, young Henrietta’s life is thrown upside down. If she’s not Mrs. Jenkins’s daughter, then who is she? It’s up to Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan of the Calleshire police force to bring the murderer to justice—and a sense of order back to Henrietta’s life.
Proclaimed by the New York Times in 1968 to be one of the year’s best books, Henrietta Who? is a first-order English whodunit that’ll keep you guessing until the end.
‘Like Agatha Christie, Aird specialises in classic puzzles . . . Intricate , witty and thoroughly delightful’ Publishers Weekly
When the incessant mutterings of gravely ill Derek Tridgell culminate in a clear cry of foul murder, Detective Inspector Sloan and Detective Constable Crosby are brought in to investigate whether these are deathbed ramblings or revelations. They uncover three tragic deaths that may or may not be linked to Derek’s last words, including a fatal car accident from which his son Paul walked away unscathed.
With a tight-lipped Paul knowing more than he’s letting on, Sloan and Crosby have their work cut out if they’re ever going to untangle this complex case.
‘Gorgeously entertaining’ Daily Telegraph
It is the early 1970s, and times are tough in the upper reaches of British society. To survive the changing times, the Earl of Ornum has done the previously unthinkable and opened his estate to wandering tourists. One day, a hyperactive little boy and his family are roaming Ornum House delightedly. The curious tyke sees a full suit of armor and lifts the visor . . . only to see a face staring out at him.
As Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan soon finds, the man in the suit of armor is dead—and there’s a slew of suspects waiting to be interviewed. Was it the ditzy duchess? The disappointing nephew? One of the servants? The earl himself? It’s up to Sloan and his wisecracking sidekick, Detective Constable Crosby, to find out before the murderer strikes again.
In her debut novel in the long-running mystery series, The Religious Body, Catherine Aird introduced the sleuthing team of shrewd Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan and his less-than-shrewd sidekick, Detective Constable William Crosby, in the fictional County of Calleshire, England. Over the course of twenty-four crime novels, the award-winning author has maintained the perfect balance between cozy village mystery and police procedural.
The Religious Body: When Sister Anne’s body is found at the bottom of a steep set of cellar stairs, her veil askew and her head crushed, it’s clear she’s been viciously attacked. Heaven help Detective Inspector Sloan as he’s called to the Convent of St. Anselm to determine why someone would want to murder a nun.
Henrietta Who?: In a quiet English village, a woman’s body is found in the road, the victim of a hit-and-run. Miles away, her daughter, Henrietta, is given the bad news. But an autopsy brings even more shocking news: Not only was Mrs. Jenkins’s death no accident, the woman never had a child. If Henrietta is not her daughter, who is she? It’s up to Detective Inspector Sloan to find out.
The Stately Home Murder: To survive financial hard times, the Earl of Ornum has opened his estate to tourists. One curious young boy sees a full suit of armor and lifts the visor . . . only to see a face staring back at him. Now Ornum House is a crime scene, with Sloan and Crosby determined to discover how a murdered man ended up in knight’s garb.
The day begins like any other for Sister Mary St. Gertrude. When her alarm sounds at 5 a.m., Sister Mary begins rousting her convent sisters from their beds, starting with the Reverend Mother. Down the Order she goes with a knock and a warm blessing. But when the young nun reaches Sister Anne’s door, there is no answer. She assumes that Sister Anne got up early, and continues on her way.
But later, when a fellow nun leaves a bloody thumbprint on the sheet music for a hymn, and Sister Anne is nowhere to be found, it becomes apparent that something is very wrong. Then Sister Anne’s body is found at the bottom of a steep set of stairs, her veil askew and her head crushed.
Religious Body introduces the sophisticated Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan along with his eager and trustworthy sidekick, Detective Constable Crosby, and the acerbic Superintendent Leeyes in a mystery of holy proportions that will have readers guessing until the last page.
Twelve friends sit down for supper at Strontfield Park—but only eleven survive the evening. After dinner, the host, William Fent, offers to drive one of his guests home, only to die behind the wheel in a violent accident. The autopsy shows that Fent ingested enough barbiturates to kill a horse.
So begins a fresh tale of murder and deceit for Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan, whose list of suspects begins and ends with the surviving dinner guests. Among them are a theologian at the local university; Dr. and Mrs. Washby, whose wedding was the cause for celebration; Ursula Renville, tall, graceful, and utterly aloof; the fat and extravagant Mr. and Mrs. Marchmont; the spinster Miss Paterson; the rector’s daughter, Cynthia Paterson; Quentin Fent, heir to the Fent fortune; and Mr. Fent’s wife, the now-widowed Helen. Each of the guests had the opportunity to kill William Fent. But which one wanted him dead?
Berebury, England, did not have an easy go of it during the Second World War. This quaint Victorian town was destroyed when the Nazis dropped bomb after bomb on its perfect gardens and neat hedges. After three decades of disarray, the town council has finally begun reconstructing what’s left. All throughout Berebury, the sounds of hammers and saws drone on. But on this particular day, the noise stops.
In the crater of a bomb site, a skeleton has been found. While its presence there isn’t unusual—hundreds died in bombing raids throughout England—the manner in which the pregnant girl met her end is sinister enough that Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan and his assistant, Detective Constable Crosby, are called to the scene. The cause of death, it seems, was not the blast, but a bullet to the spine.
Inspector Sloan is the best there is when it comes to cracking the most complex cases. But can he piece together a murder that’s been buried for more than a quarter century?