A murder mystery featuring Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne Verity Browne and Lord Edward Corinth are attending the memorial service in Westminster Abbey for Lord Benyon, killed a few months before when the Hindenburg airship burst into flames as it docked in New Jersey. As the congregation begins to disperse after the service, Edward hears Miss Pitt-Messanger cry for help. Her father is slumped in his seat, stabbed to death with an ancient Assyrian dagger. Edward has no wish to investigate the murder but ...
A murder mystery featuring Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne Verity Browne and Lord Edward Corinth are attending the memorial service in Westminster Abbey for Lord Benyon, killed a few months before when the Hindenburg airship burst into flames as it docked in New Jersey. As the congregation begins to disperse after the service, Edward hears Miss Pitt-Messanger cry for help. Her father is slumped in his seat, stabbed to death with an ancient Assyrian dagger. Edward has no wish to investigate the murder but Verity gets herself invited to Swifts Hill, the ultra-modern house in Kent belonging to the millionaire Sir Simon Castlewood. His wife, Virginia, is one of Verity's school friends and she is looking after Maud Pitt-Messanger who is still grieving for her father. Verity quickly discovers that the old man was a selfish bully who had made his daughter's life a misery and prevented her from marrying the man she loved. By coincidence, Mr Churchill then asks Edward to investigate the Castlewood Foundation which Sir Simon has set up to fund medical research among other worthy projects. Churchill has received information that Sir Simon's protege, the eminent surgeon Dominic Montillo, is using the Foundation to fund his own research into racial types - the so-called science of eugenics. Then Maud Pitt-Messanger is herself stabbed to death with a dagger from Sir Simon's archaeological museum, and Edward and Verity join forces to find her killer -- but Verity's distrust of Winston Churchill, and her growing attraction to the young German aristocrat, Adam von Trott, drives a wedge between them which brings them both unhappiness and endangers the outcome of the investigation.
Roberts's convoluted 1930s historical lacks the amusing spark of earlier entries in the series (The More Deceived, etc.). Lord Edward Corinth, unofficial troubleshooter for the British Foreign Office, and Verity Browne, foreign correspondent for the New Gazette, are attending a memorial service at Westminster Abbey, when an eminent archeologist is stabbed to death. After the police fail to make a speedy arrest, the pair agree to investigate quietly on their own. Unfortunately, this is about the last thing they agree on. Mr. Churchill, "a fat, over-the-hill politician," according to Verity, asks Edward to look into a foundation funded by Sir Simon Castlewood, who may be a Nazi sympathizer underwriting projects related to "racial hygiene." Lady Castlewood is a school chum of Verity's, so Verity goes to their home at Swifts Hill, where even a second murder can't make the protagonists see eye-to-eye. As usual, Roberts does a fine job of elucidating the politics of the period, but the cooling of relations between Lord Edward and Verity puts a definite damper on the crime solving. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
As ominous war clouds gather over Europe, Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne investigate a Nazi-related murder. After archaeologist Pitt-Messanger is stabbed while attending a memorial service for Lord Benyon (Dangerous Sea, 2003, etc.), his daughter seeks solace at Swift Hills, home of Sir Simon Castlewood and his wife, Verity's old school friend. Accepting her own invitation to Swift Hills, Verity meets a diverse set of fellow guests, including the talented surgeon Dominic Montillo, a man whose ideas on eugenics would make him right at home in the Third Reich. Winston Churchill, meanwhile, asks Lord Edward to look into Montillo's medical research facility, which is largely financed by Castlewood. Verity's dislike of Churchill strains her relations with Lord Edward, and when she falls for the anti-Nazi German Adam von Trott, their romance stalls. So does a cricket match at Swift Hills, when Miss Pitt-Messanger is found floating in a stream, stabbed with an ancient dagger. The action shuttles back and forth between England and the south of France, where the mysterious research facility is located. A large supporting cast, from Edward VIII to Castlewood's French mistress and a new love interest for Lord Edward, is introduced before the murders are solved. Like Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, the salt-and-pepper sleuths complement each other well. But this tale is a little too complicated by prewar politics and social mores to be satisfying.
David Roberts worked in publishing for over thirty years, most recently as a publishing director, before devoting his energies to writing full time. He is married and divides his time between London and Wiltshire.