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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
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
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.
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
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?
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
Hiding from the truth brings dark and fatal consequences
Callum Hughes has been labelled a killer and a psycho. He has been labelled by the press, by his classmates and most of all by the family of the boy he stabbed. Roger Gough has been labelled a victim. He is described by everyone the police question as a sporty, funny and popular boy who was brutally murdered by Callum. At least, that’s what his friends and family are saying. But things are rarely so black and white.
When Callum is found dead in his cell just two days after his arrest, it is accepted that he killed himself. But the coroner, Martha Gunn, dares to dig a little deeper, unravelling a truth that is far more disturbing and distressing than anything the papers could have made up. She is determined to solve the mysetery and reveal the truth behind the destroyed lives of two very different boys.
Jadon Glover is good-looking, professional, reliable and a perfect husband, according to his wife. So when he fails to return home one miserable March night, she rings the police, certain that something has happened to him. DI Joanna Piercy and DS Mike Korpanski are sceptical: there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. So what is the truth about Jadon?
As the investigation proceeds, it soon becomes apparent that Jadon Glover has been keeping dark secrets from his wife. And as the police pursue their house-to-house enquiries through the claustrophobic, jumbled streets of cramped Victorian terraces, they unearth other secrets from behind the net curtains. But, whatever else has been going on among the inhabitants' quiet, desperate lives, it's clear that at least one of them knows what really happened to Jadon.
Cécile Bellange is a worried mother. Her eighteen-year-old daughter Annabelle and her friend Dorothée left Paris for a summer hitchhiking holiday in England, but it’s now September and the only contact from them is a postcard sent from the picturesque setting of Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire three months ago.
Meanwhile, in England, brothers Martin and James Stuart find a note from two French girls, inviting the finder to meet them at Rudyard Lake. Their enquiries lead them to Mandalay, an upmarket guesthouse where the girls stayed just before their disappearance, and its owner, the creepy peeping tom, Mr Barker.
Arriving in England, Cécile Bellange meets Detective Joanna Piercy, who is looking into the girls’ disappearance. Soon Joanna must answer two important questions: what is the anxious Mr Barker trying so desperately to hide, and where are Annabelle and Dorothée?
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
In the peaceful setting of the National Trust near Church Stretton, south of Shrewsbury, Tracey Walsh drives herself and her four-year-old daughter, Daisy, up the remote Burway in the early hours of the morning, tragically loses control of her car and crashes into the valley below.
Tracey is rushed to hospital, but where is Daisy? She has vanished, provoking an intense police search of the area around the Devil’s Chair, land that is rife with legends and strange stories of witchcraft, sorcery and unexplained disappearances. Detective Inspector Alex Randall, the senior investigating officer, soon admits to coroner Martha Gunn that he is baffled by the case.
Alex and Martha must sift through fact and fiction, folklore and reality in their search for answers.
Just back from her honeymoon, Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy heads back to work in Staffordshire, England, and gets handed a case she can do without: nuisance calls from an old lady ringing the police incessantly to report seemingly trivial incidents.
The woman in question is Timony Weeks, a child star of the sixties in the once-popular soap Butterfield Farm, who now lives in an isolated farmhouse. It seems unlikely that someone is really moving her nightdress around or leaving a dead mouse in her bread box. Joanna is sure she’s putting on an act and wasting police time.
But as things escalate, something doesn’t feel right, and as Joanna digs into Timony’s past, she finds that the aging actress may be in danger after all . . .
“A solid police procedural especially likely to appeal to 1960s nostalgia buffs.” —Kirkus Reviews