Praise for The Blood Royal
“For a series writer to break the bounds of chronology requires courage, and Barbara Cleverly is not afraid to take that bold step.... Cleverly's intrigues absorb the reader's mind, and her spare but elegant prose serves her well. Joe, as always, is the epitome of determination, intelligence and charm, and Lily is a character the reader will want to see again in this spellbinding series.”
“Cleverly underscores the idea that the actions of great nations can be substantially less noble than the nations themselves; it is a fine writer who can make her readers reflect on such concepts.... Compelling and effectively written; with each chapter, the reader is drawn further into the narrative and the darkness of the time.... Another very good read from Barbara Cleverly.”
—The Strand Magazine
“A darkly glamorous thriller.”
“Lovers of golden age mysteries will revel in this jarring meeting of the insouciant upper crust and the roiling masses.”
“Barbara Cleverly mysteries are addictive, and The Blood Royal is highly recommended.” —Historical Novels Review
“Cleverly's skill with narration is matched with her ability to convey both her characters' social class and emotional drama in her dialogue…. I was so impressed with Cleverly's writing and her ability to draw you into her story that I immediately read her first of the series, the award-winning THE LAST KASHMIRI ROSE, written in 2001. But if you are unfamiliar with this series, there would seem to be no harm in starting with this one, as it seems to be signalling a new direction and certainly offers much to enjoy.”
Praise for Barbara Cleverly
"Despite her mastery at vivid scene-setting, Cleverly never loses sight of the historical puzzle that is central to her story. Simply put, it's a stunner."
—New York Times
"Spectacular and dashing. Spellbinding."
—New York Times Book Review
"Excellent.... Golden age fans who appreciate deceptive storytelling enhanced by the kind of in-depth characterization lacking in Agatha Christie will be more than satisfied."
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"This series and its hero age well: the perspicacious Sandilands exhibits an arresting combination of Mary Russell's discernment and Chief Inspector Wexford's tenacious certainty."
—Booklist Starred Review
"Cleverly's crisp prose and solid cast of supporting characters ... make the book a delight to read."
"Stylish and intricate.... Cleverly has perfect pitch for period and place, whether her hero is unearthing evil in India, England or France."
"A great blood and guts blockbuster."
"Atmospheric ... intricately plotted."
Joe Sandilands (Strange Images of Death), on his return to London from India, is placed in charge of the Special Irish Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department. Mix in a suspicious Russian princess and let the drama begin. This is set in 1922, and there's plenty of room for intrigue.
After three rounds with a new detective (A Darker God, 2010, etc.), Cleverly brings back Joe Sandilands (Folly du Jour, 2008, etc.) for the eighth time to investigate, and instigate, international intrigue in London between the wars.
Lily Wentworth is one of London's few policewomen. Despite her blonde hair and petite stature, she walks a London beat to protect prostitutes and children. When Joe Sandilands needs a feminine partner for a special assignment, he dragoons Lily. Scotland Yard is worried for the lives of the royal family after Irish rebels murder two prominent politicians. So Lily, in borrowed finery, passes for the Prince of Wales' new paramour while watching his back at a charitable ball for aristocratic Russian emigres. She proves herself sharp as she and Sandilands unravel the schemes of Irish assassins to find a deeper plot, and sharper still by saving Prince Edward from poisoning. The Russian aristocrats have laid a trail of red herrings for Sandilands and Lily. Does the trail lead all the way back to the execution of the Romanovs?
Stretches the bounds of historical credulity, but does so with panache. A darkly glamorous thriller.