The Dead Sit Round in a Ring: Detective Stella Mooney #1


Jimmy Stone died of a broken heart. Literally.

"A really interesting set of main characters, taut plotting, fine writing, and some engrossing subplots make this a highly satisfying read and a series to keep an eye on."
--Morning Star (U.K.)

"Four people sitting in a ring. Two men and two women. All of ...
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Jimmy Stone died of a broken heart. Literally.

"A really interesting set of main characters, taut plotting, fine writing, and some engrossing subplots make this a highly satisfying read and a series to keep an eye on."
--Morning Star (U.K.)

"Four people sitting in a ring. Two men and two women. All of them dead." Thus begins a case that will take detective Stella Mooney from the fabulous flats of Notting Hill to the decidedly tougher side of town. It's no wonder Stella feels like she's going round in circles.
Her personal life is also going awry. Her live-in-lover has yet to be told her has serious competition in the form of sexy newsman John Delaney, nightmares are an ongoing problem, and Stella's vodka habit is not improving. She's trying to keep everything together long enough to catch the killer. The problem is, the nearer she gets to solving the case, the closer the rest of her life comes to falling apart . . . .
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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
David Lawrence's debut procedural, The Dead Sit around in a Ring, measures up with an interestingly flawed heroine, an English copper named Stella Mooney who has a knack for catching the most gruesome crimes on her beat, and a perspective on London that is darker and grittier than in conventional treatments. But the writing is the thing. Whether he's describing a bizarre death scene (''Four people sitting in a ring. . . . All looking inwards, all leaning slightly forward as if staring at something that lay at the center of the ring'') or observing a group of streetwalkers plying their night trade (''The lights changed to red. It was raining. They were selling sex in the rain''), Lawrence, a published poet, writes with a delicacy and restraint rare in the genre.
The New York Times
Library Journal
Three of the four bodies sitting in a ring in a London flat are identified as elderly siblings in a suicide pact. The fourth turns out to be Jimmy Stone, a gofer for the notorious Tanner family, runner of drugs, guns, and girls. So begins Det. Sgt. Sheila Mooney's bedevilment. Dogged in her investigation of the murder, she disrupts a neighboring undercover operation and turns over another stone: the sexual exploitation of women lured from Eastern Europe by promises of visas and jobs. Nearing the breaking point at work, Sheila also has to wrestle with personal issues; haunted by nightmares of a former case, she is also torn between her longtime live-in partner, George, and freelance journalist John Delany, who can be as aggravating as he is enticing. This British import is engrossing: it's a gritty, noirish police procedural about the "near-to-the-knuckle" work done by cops who care about what they do. Another Stella Mooney mystery is hinted at, and it can't come too soon; this series is to be devoutly desired. Michele Leber, Arlington, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A London detective battles personal demons while unraveling a complicated crime puzzle. Police Sergeant Stella Mooney is investigating the odd death of elderly nonconformist sisters Joanna and Caroline Deever, found in their flat along with brother Conrad and another unidentified male corpse. The Deevers, all in poor health, evidently carried out a suicide pact including odd man out Jimmy Stone, a petty criminal who trafficked on the Internet in "murderabilia," souvenirs and artifacts from high-profile convicted killers, not a career likely to win friends. A fourth Deever sibling, Henry, seems to know more than he's telling, but he takes a fatal header off the building's roof before Stella can elicit any useful information. Her probe includes the seamy world surrounding Stone's business, a prostitution ring, and the London arm of the Serbian mafia. Her most colorful discovery is street hustler Billy Whizz, whose pet Barbary ape-the latest status symbol among the local underworld-tries to take a chunk out of Stella's neck. On a gentler note, Stella's lived with kindly George for over five years, though she's never told him about her vivid recurrent nightmares or about the psychiatrist she visits regularly to expunge them. Now she's pursued by Delaney, an investigative reporter bent on solving her case. Brash, complex, and beautifully written. An auspicious series debut with the compellingly flawed Stella at its heart.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937384692
  • Publisher: Felony & Mayhem, LLC
  • Publication date: 6/16/2013
  • Series: Detective Stella Mooney Series
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Lawrence is an acclaimed poet and highly successful scriptwriter. He has just completed the second novel in the Stella Mooney series, Nothing Like the Night, which will be published soon by Thomas Dunne Books.
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Table of Contents

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