The Stroke of Death
“Jessica Mann’s twenty-second novel tackles old age and dying head on. The sombreness of the subject is mitigated by the likeability of her heroine, whom Mann resurrects from her early novels to investigate a suspected murder, a missing doctor and the deaths of several residents in a care home.” Literary Review
Tamara Hoyland is back! For nearly twenty years she has been a full time wife, mother, daughter and archaeologist. But now her sons are away, her husband is working overseas, her day job is about to fold and death is on her mind. Her father-in-law has died; her mother is in “God’s waiting room”, an old peoples’ home, with advanced Alzheimers. And her brother-in-law Euan, back from America where he has become experienced with legal euthanasia, is looking for a job…
“A pleasure to recommend. An intricate, carefully woven plot and cast of characters that has depth and credibility.”Publishing News
Gillian Butler moved away from Edinburgh fifty years ago, or at least, so her friends believed. But when her remains are found, they have to think back to the day she disappeared and try to work out who last saw her alive.
A gripping tale of vengeance, family ties and the mystery of identiy, in which Dr Fidelis Berlin, who appeared in several of Jessica’s recent novels, meets characters from her first book in Edinburgh where it is set.
“Literate and meticulously plotted, as can be expected from this stylish writer, with a story that grips from the very beginning.” Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph
In 1940, two boys from Cornwall, one the heir to an estate called Goonzoyle, the other the gardener’s son, are on board a ship full of evacuees travelling to safety in America. When their ship is torpedoed, only one survives. Six decades later, a rich widow who was the sister of one the boys, buys the estate and begins to investigate what actually happened when SS The City of Benares was sunk – and why human bones have been found buried at Goonzoyle.
“Mann writes silkily, seductively and where it most matters, persuasively, to produce a most elegant read: engaging and absorbing.” Philip Oakes, The Literary Review
Dr Fidelis Berlin, first met in A Private Inquiry, is reluctantly drawn into a tangle of deceit when she is nominated as the the sole heir of a total stranger. In trying to find the reason for the bequest, Fidelis finds herself suspecting her own lifelong friends. She has opened a Pandora’s box of obsession, passion and revenge. At the same time she has to come to terms with her own illness and mortality.
Under A Dark Sun
“A mix of the type of murder mystery and brilliant characterisation which makes Ms Mann one of today’s foremost crime writers.” Oxford Mail
When Victoria agreed to be the executor of her Aunt Elena’s will she thought it would be a simple task. But as she gradually uncovers the truth about a long hidden act of vengeance, Victoria is led to question the rights and wrongs of retribution, as well as her own relationship with the family whose influence has overshadowed her life. A compelling novel of secrets and betrayal, it reaches a thrilling climax on August 11th, 1999, as the total eclipse of the sun darkens the Cornish sky.
The Survivor’s Revenge
“Beautifully written, with several heart stopping twists.” Daily Mail.
War correspondent Nina Gillespie, though physically recovered from wounds sustained in Dubrovnik, is haunted by her memories and steps sideways into a job on local radio. There she begins to uncover a cruel money-making scam which seems to be connected her boy friend’s sister-in-law Claudia. When Claudia disappears after driving a consignment of relief supplies to Bosnia Nina is drawn back to Eastern Europe to unearth information about Claudia’s fate. There she encounters murder, terror, hatred and deceit.
“ The ultimate fascination or the reader lies in Jessica Mann’s seemingly effortless ability to enrich a compelling narrative with vivid pictures of people, places and atmospheres.” James Melville, Ham & High
Tess Redpath has been with The Argus nearly all her working life. But within minutes of meeting the paper’s new proprietor, she is out of a job. Tess had been working on the anniversary coverage of a horrific cult massacre in the USA, and on the tragic suicide of a feminist icon. Trying to drag herself back from despair Tess decides to work as a freelance on the stories she has already started. Some strange connections begin to appear, particularly in Cornwall where Tess comes from. When her flat is ransacked and set on fire Tess begins to realise she has stumbled on something dangerous, sinister and huge.
“There isn’t a seam in sight in A PRIVATE INQUIRY, a cunningly conceived mystery by Jessica Mann that combines the puzzle-plotting ingenuity of a traditional British whodunit with the sneaky subtlety of modern psychological suspense. The key is in the finely shaded character work…” New York Times Book Review
Barbara Pomeroy led a busy life as a Planning Inspector but when an anonymous caller threatens the life of her son, Toby, her world is thrown into disarray. With his mother often away from their home in St. Ives, Cornwall, Toby is cared for by his retired father and his glamorous new friend, Clarissa Trelawny, who soon becomes Toby’s surrogate mum. When Clarissa is murdered, the shocked little community must find the killer. Could Barbara have killed Clarissa in a jealous rage? Who was the fancily named Clarissa Trelawny anyway? And is there a link between the murder and the sinister telephone threat?
“A mystery and urgency which makes much of contemporary story telling seem nerveless in comparison. Notable for its adult perspective as well as its page-turning tempo.” Anita Brookner, The Spectator
Sir William Golding: ‘I find the prose slips down like spring water, it’s clear and cold and doesn’t get between the reader and what’s going on. Most of all, it put me back in a time and place which I understand….’
An accidental remark on a television programme, about Nazi sympathisers in England during WW2, lands crime novelist Anne Medlicott in a potentially very damaging libel suit. She discovers the truth of the matter in the process of researching a new book, a book that will be a radical departure from the safe world of crime fiction where Anne has remained successfully insulated for many years. From Berlin of the 1936 Olympics to the present day, this is a narrative of many layers, where betrayal, subterfuge and deception must be stripped away before Anne Medlicott can come to terms with her own life and her family’s past.
“This is a novel of character as well as suspense, and there is hardly a word astray.” The Irish Times
Former undercover agent Tamara Hoyland thinks she’s left murder and mayhem behind when she retires from the British government’s secret department E to return full time to archaeological work. When a botanist Louise Dench, is found dead, apparently by suicide, Tamara wants to believe that her boy-friend, Louise’s colleague, isn’t involved. But he had a motive; he and Louise were fighting over the publication of ground-breaking discoveries made during the Brazilian expedition where Waugh mysteriously met his death. It had been funded by the Grail Foundation, and it is in its fortress on the north Cornish coast that the dangerous truth is revealed.
Death Beyond The Nile
“A mix of the type of murder mystery and brilliant characterisation which makes Ms Mann one of today’s foremost crime writers.” Harriet Waugh, The Spectator
Tamara Hoyland, archaeologist and undercover agent, becomes the guide on a cultural tour of Egypt, in order to keep an eye on a government scientist. Her party includes the suspected scientist herself, plus a television star, a failed poet, a brother and sister who run an arts centre and a businessman. The highlight of their tour is a visit to an excavation on a remote island in Lake Nasser. By the time the party reaches the site tensions have built up between its members. By the time they leave there have been two murders. Are the deaths related? Is there more than one killer present? Is it possible that there has been a Christie-like conspiracy?
A Kind of Healthy Grave
“Mann’s mordantly witty new novel surpasses the acclaimed sleuthing adventures of British spy Tamara Hoyland. In a murder mystery of formidable power and subtlety and proving her skills as a superb plotter, the author ends the mystery with the force of a whiplash.” Publishers’ Weekly
In 1929 a man called Rex disappeared when his caravan was destroyed by fire. Rex had been a pornographic painter, imprisoned for obscenity. In the present day Tamara Hoyland infiltrates a new movement called ‘Watchwomen’ which claims that feminism has been hi-jacked by socialists or lesbians. What is the connection between Rex and Watchwomen? And are the individual watchwomen as innocent as they seem? Hoyland follows a serpentine trail through an investigation that proves her as subtle and ruthless as her quarry.
‘‘Instinct with history, enthrallingly intricate, this is a stylish mixture of period pastiche and a lethal twist-and-turn treasure hunt. Mann rings the maximum entertainment from each, and her lively and literate Tamara Hoyland is fast becoming crime fiction’s most beguiling sleuthess.” The Times.
The coronation of Charlemagne on Christmas day in the year 800 was the central event of the middle ages and altered the history of the world. Now an exhibition is to come to London from Prussia, its centrepiece Charlemagne’s regalia lent by the family of the Princes of Horn. The English wife of the mid-nineteenth century Prince is the subject of a biography being written by Margot Ellice, whose main material is correspondence between her, and her sister. But someone is trying to kill Margot Ellice and Tamara Hoyland finds that her research seems to have aroused murderous passions. She will not be the only person to die as desperate attempts are made to discover what really happened to those ancient treasures.
“A whole community is imaginatively portrayed and Tamara is at her most impressive in this new adventure, a story of formidable virtuosity, lucidly and elegantly told and leading to a finely ironic conclusion.” The Times Literary Supplement
Recently discovered oil on the barren and isolated island of Forway has caused a government plan for evacuation so that the entire island can be used for an oil rig. The islanders, however, intend to declare their independence from England. Into this volatile situation comes Tamara Hoyland, archaeologist and civil servant whose link to Forway is twofold: a dead lover whose family lives there and a task of espionage. Sudden ‘accidental’ deaths lead her to realise that the services of a detective might be more useful than the services of a spy.
“Funeral Sites is engrossingly told and grips from start to finish. How often one looks in vain for distinction. Here one finds it.” Christopher Wordsworth, The Observer
Everywhere Rosamund Sholto turns, people praise her brother-in-law’s charisma, power, and his impeccable personal life, married to the daughter of the legendary Sholto. And now the whole country grieves with the tragic widower. Only Rosamund realises how dangerous and ruthless Aidan is. She knows he would stop at nothing to prevent her exposing his past. From Switzerland to England, helped by the redoubtable Tamara Hoyland, Rosamund flees for her life in a chilling, thrilling chase-and-pursuit novel in the classic tradition of John Buchan’s The Thirty Nine Steps.
The Sting of Death
“Even without the added tension of a looming murder The Sting of Death would be a fine novel. As a thriller it is right in the front rank” The Sunday Times.
Two worlds collide: one is the tranquil landscape of Grebe Bay in South Cornwall. The other belongs to international terrorist killers. Grebe has disagreements of its own. These range from rival claims to inheritance to the protection of the Large Blue Butterfly. A clash is in progress between ‘simple-life’ preservationists and some casual exploiters. But when an unidentified body is found drowned in the bay, international conflict becomes a local issue. A complex plot gains strength and credibility from acute observation of the people involved.
The Eighth Deadly Sin
“Mann writes beautifully, picking her way through the sad and sinister with an air of dainty ruthlessness” Barbara Bourke, Irish Times
A man meets a woman at a publisher’s party; he takes her out to dinner, the evening finishes in bed in his office and afterwards they return to their respective homes and partners. A situation that is commonplace enough, but they meet again, and the casual affair becomes more serious, at least for the man involved. Then one day the woman doesn’t turn up. Jane has disappeared. His experience of missing persons should have made it simple for him to track her down but somehow she has contrived to cover her tracks completely. She is determined not to be found out: “That’s the eighth deadly sin, didn’t you know?”
“A sophisticated, high tension crime novel, deserving all the adjectives usually applied to Jessica Mann – intelligent, witty, sardonic” John West, Sunday Times
Trouble is brewing at Buriton University. A peaceful demonstration ends when a bomb is thrown at the administration building. In the ensuing fire, a student dies. Was it accident or murder? While Professor Thea Crawford gets caught up in the protest, her husband Sylvester observes from his window. A reporter, injured in action, whose intellectual curiosity leads him to become embroiled in events, he starts to ask awkward questions. As he and Thea become involved with charismatic Toby Norman, and the beautiful Jenny Pascoe, it appears that the truth may soon be in sight…
The Sticking Place
“A convincing and moving drama, with observation and reportage as intelligent, succinct and witty as ever with this author.” Francis Goff, Sunday Telegraph
Gus Seaton is a television don, his wife Rachel a singer of classical music. They live a comfortable provincial life until Gus is accused of being involved in a Scottish nationalist terrorist group. Rachel finds evidence that the accusations might be true. Then their teenager daughter’s gesture of rebellion adds another turn to the screw. In the midst of all these concerns, Rachel is forced to play the heroine in a desperate adventure by complexities of fate and conspiracy far beyond her imaginings. It is Rachel who ultimately confronts her own true self at that moment of deadly peril – at the sticking place.
The Only Security
“Sparkling, sardonic and refreshingly original – a thoroughly accomplished piece.” Edmund Crispin, The Sunday Times
Academic skulduggery plays a large part in this novel of psychological suspense. Thea Crawford is the newly-appointed Professor of Archaeology at the University of Buriton. Her husband is abroad, leaving her free to concentrate on her own career, but on arrival in her own department she is faced with human and professional problems. Mediaeval skeletons and twentieth-century corpses, the discovery of a rare and precious object, conflicting archaeological attitudes and some sharply observed characters add up to a fascinating novel of subtlety, wit and intrigue.
Mrs Knox’s Profession
“You should investigate Mann’s near Waughesque bite at today’s Britain – very intelligent and original.” Maurice Richardson, The Observer
Sarah Foster has a steady husband, although a trifle dull, two lively children, and a comfortable home. When her husband insists on moving out of London, it seems the end. But she finds there is a social life in Ferriby. She meets the attractive local MP, Victor Nightingale. And then there is lonely Mrs Knox, always so sympathetic and harmless, who earns a living looking after babies. But when a baby is kidnapped, Sarah’s involvement with these people draws her into a nightmare web of intrigue, violence and terror. Too late she realises the value of the domestic life she has taken for granted.; for her, life can never be the same again.
A Charitable End
“A shrewdly intelligent and close woven novel of manner and character.” H.R.F.Keating, The Times
Not all crimes are reported to the police. The comfortable Edinburgh citizens who received poison-pen letters thought it more politic to say nothing about them. But when the French-born wife of the city’s most distinguished judge receives one, she angrily blurts out the details of her husband’s not so innocent love life. The matter is discreetly silenced, but there is a subtle and disturbing change of atmosphere.
Someone in this elite and snobbish professional circle, with its social concern, altruism, and exclusive occasions is undoubtedly not above suspicion.