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DI Joanna Piercy is irritated at what she perceives to be an attempt to wrap her up in cotton wool during her pregnancy when she is asked to take on the case of Zachary Foster, a missing ninety-six-year-old man suffering from dementia. Zachary has vanished from his residential care home on the edge of Leek during the night with his beloved old teddy bear. He can’t have gone far, surely, but how did a frail, elderly man manage to abscond from a secure house at night? As Joanna investigates, it soon becomes clear that this apparently minor case is far more sinister than it first appears. Could her own life, and that of her unborn child, be at risk?
On a bright spring morning, John Hyde opens the gates to the grounds of Moreton Corbet Castle, a local medieval ruin, and discovers the body of a homeless man with his throat slashed.
Detective Inspector Alex Randall and his team soon face some disturbing questions: was this a random attack, or does someone have a vendetta against the homeless? For coroner Martha Gunn, establishing the man’s identity is essential, but there are no clues . . . Who is he? What was he doing in the grounds of a Shropshire beauty spot?
As the mystery deepens, the need for answers becomes increasingly important. Can Martha and Alex solve the puzzle?
All her life, she has been overlooked by difficult patients, disinterested colleagues and even her own family.
So when she discovers a way to commit the perfect crime, Jane seizes the opportunity and begins deliberating who of her many patients is most deserving of her murderous attention.
And when elderly James Walsh tries one to many times to proposition her, Jane seizes her chance.
Although Walsh’s mother seems unconvinced by Jane’s explanation of his death, no one else, least of all Jane’s fellow doctors, seems the least bit surprised.
As the days past, she can’t help thinking that she may indeed have escaped suspicion.
Driven by this knowledge and with a new-found taste for murder, she soon turns her mind to her next victim.
However, when a formal complaint is made against her by bad-tempered Clara Blatter, it seems that she may have picked the wrong woman.
Soon, Jane finds herself under investigation and when she carries out her second murder, the net begins to close in tighter.
When her normally unassuming boss starts to become suspicious, Jane resorts to drastic measures to avoid detection, as her perfect crime quickly turns into a nightmare that could cost her everything.
The Certificate is a heart racing medical thriller that will leave you begging for more.
Praise for Priscilla Masters
‘A natural story-teller' - Robert Foster, bestselling author of The Lunar Code
‘It is always a joy to discover a crime writer with a sure touch and the capacity to shock’ - Peter Lovesey
‘More than a match for Rendell and Christie’ - Hampstead and Highgate Express
Priscilla Masters lives in Shropshire with her husband, a GP in the Potteries. Night Visit was the first of her medical mystery novels, followed by A Fatal Cut and Coming Home. She is also the author of the Joanna Piercy police series.
Struggling to keep a tight focus on her work after a miscarriage and relationship breakdown, DI Joanna Piercy resorts to formulaic solutions to solve her cases: having seen the same situations time and again, she assumes all cases have a simple repetitive answer. So when Arthur Pennington enters her office in a state of confused distress and reports that his wife Beatrice is missing, Joanna does not reciprocate his concern. Convinced that his wife is merely involved in an extra-marital affair, Joanna is dismissive of Arthur’s concerns. Then Beatrice’s strangled body is discovered recklessly dumped on the Leek moorlands and she is forced to re-evaluate her stance. But perhaps Joanna wasn’t so far off the mark at all: it seems Beatrice suffered an unrequited love, which Joanna knows can be painful…but she never before believed it could be fatal.
A baffling and intriguing mystery, Wings over the Watcher takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the maze-like puzzle of the female psyche.
Something is amiss at a small primary school in the village of Horton. A local man, Joshua Baldwin, has been sitting in his car outside the school watching the children as they play. So DI Joanna Piercy is called out to investigate. She meets with the teachers and with Baldwin and eventually decides there is nothing to worry about.
She is terribly wrong. A few days later little Madeline Wiltshaw goes missing. Joanna is distraught that she trusted her gut instinct so implicitly, that she was not more suspicious of Baldwin. The coming weeks will be a testing time for Joanna, as she desperately tries to find the child. But with foot and mouth disease ruling the surrounding countryside, Joanna’s task looks almost impossible.
The boy’s body is scarred by cigarette burns, his hands tattooed and clothes scruffy – but he is wearing expensive Reebok trainers and on his left hand a monogrammed solid gold ring that belonged to the local MP, who has been dead for over a year…
Who is the young victim? And who is the mysterious old woman who watched his body burn?
‘Hauntingly atmospheric’ – Peter Lovesey
The second of Telos Publishing’s reissues of noted British crime author Priscilla Masters’.Joanna Piercy mystery series
Despite a lack of evidence at the post mortem, Piercy is convinced that Marilyn was murdered. As a newcomer and a woman in this remote moorland town, she must battle against long-held prejudices in her determination to find the killer. But could she be wrong? Is it possible that Marilyn Smith’s death was not murder after all …?
‘It’s Masters’ first novel and a cracking start to her career in literary crime’ - Daily Express
The first in Telos Publishing’s reissues of noted British crime author Priscilla Masters’.Joanna Piercy mystery series
Hours after opening this letter, high-powered solicitor Jonathan Selkirk is in hospital recovering from a suspected heart attack. That night, he vanishes from his private room. Has he discharged himself? Or been abducted? Briefly admitted to the same hospital after a road accident, Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy finds herself having to cope with not only a broken arm but also a murder investigation and the arrival of a senior officer from the Regional Crime Squad. Superintendent Karen Pugh thinks there is a contract killer at work – but who, in the small town of Leek, could have hired him?
‘Clear and well-crafted story-telling that pulled me in right from the start … I’m so glad that these books will get a wider audience.’ – Ann Cleeves
The fourth of Telos Publishing’s reissues of noted British crime author Priscilla Masters’ Joanna Piercy mystery series
Joanna bent down to peer at the work, neatly done, evenly stitched in bright silk, and now spattered with blood. She read out the title: ‘Massacre of the Innocent’.
A spate of robberies targeting old women is disturbing enough, especially in a town as peaceful as Leek. But then DI Joanna Piercy is called to the eerily-named Spite Hall, where the elderly Nan Lawrence has been found bludgeoned to death over the tapestry she was embroidering. Have the robbers turned from simple theft to murder? Joanna is surprised to find that Nan’s near neighbours are her estranged brother and his grandson, neither of whom seems keen to co-operate. Slowly Joanna unravels a mystery – the tangled threads of which are rooted years in the past.
‘A crime writer with a sure touch and the ability to shock.’ – Peter Lovesey.
‘Joanna’s strong, independent personality drives the story and will carry readers to the novel’s sober yet satisfying denouement.’ – Publisher’s Weekly.
The sixth of Telos Publishing’s reissues of noted British crime author Priscilla Masters’ Joanna Piercy mystery series
There was a hole in his chest. A big hole. A quick glance showed exposed flesh and bone, red gore. It had been an accurate shot.
Truck driver Dave Shackleton senses that all is not well at Hardacre farm when he arrives to collect the morning’s milk. The cows are loose and the farmers nowhere to be seen … In the farmhouse, he discovers the bodies of Aaron Summers and his son Jack, killed with their own shotgun. Sweltering in a heatwave, Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy is now faced with solving a double murder by person or persons unknown; and when she learns that Aaron also had a daughter, Ruthie, she sets in motion a massive search to find her – either alive or dead …
‘Clear and well-crafted storytelling that pulled me in right from the start. The atmosphere of the heatwave and the claustrophobic community was beautifully done, and the lack of sentimentality in the relationship between Joanna and [her boyfriend] Matthew was fresh and entirely credible.’ - Ann Cleeves.
‘A masterpiece of crime fiction … The plot – which unfolds like an origami model – is intricate, clear and faultless … Every page of this gripping mystery deserves to be savoured.’ – femaledetective.com.
‘More than a match for Rendell and Christie’ – Broadway Ham & High.
The fifth of Telos Publishing’s reissues of noted British crime author Priscilla Masters’ Joanna Piercy mystery series
When firemen are called to an intense blaze at the Grange in Melverley, England, they find the bodies of Christie Barton, her daughter, and her father-in-law, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. But evidence suggests that this was not a tragic accident related to the dead man’s dementia symptoms. These deaths appear to be deliberate.
Detective Inspector Alex Randall enlists the help of coroner Martha Gunn, but the puzzle deepens with a second house fire—the occupant, a retired nurse, is missing. Where is she, and what links the two fires? The answers lie in a secret buried in the past . . .
“Details of police procedure and the duties of a coroner frame a compelling story. In addition to the crime story, Masters also focuses on Martha’s personal life, as she slowly begins to learn more about her very private colleague Alex and begins to date again, fearing future loneliness as her children get ever closer to leaving home. A nice mix of mystery and human drama.” —Booklist