Synopses & Reviews
Cleverly's uneven 13th whodunit featuring Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Joe Sandilands (after 2014's Enter Pale Death) opens with a promisingly macabre setup in 1933 Cambridge England. Dr. Adelaide Hartest enters All Hallows Church with the intent of having a private conversation with God only to be confronted with a dying man with a knife stuck in his back who confesses to having stabbed himself before expiring. The dead man is identified as Sir Aidan Mountfitchet who served in the Great War with Joe Adelaide's love interest. Joe who has learned of a "convergence of wealth privilege intellect and evil that could... even bring down the government" confides to Adelaide that he sent Sir Aidan to gather intelligence about Gregory Pertinax "baronet and all round bad character." Adelaide informs Joe that she witnessed a second suspicious death that same night at Pertinax's country estate where she was called to tend to a servant with stomach pains. The plodding plot falls short of Cleverly's best and Joe uncharacteristically comes across as colorless. Agent: Juliet Burton Juliet Burton Literary (U.K.). (May) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
Cambridge, 1933. On All Hallows' Eve, in a candlelit pew in ancient All Hallows Church, Doctor Adelaide Hartest witnesses a stranger's dying moments. Adelaide is just in time to hear his final confession: that he has plunged the dagger into his own chest, and that his death will be a suicide, despite its suspicious appearance.
But his confession isn't enough to halt an investigation. The victim, it is revealed, is known to Scotland Yard, and his death is a matter of national concern. Assistant Commissioner Joe Sandilands is sent up from London to discover the truth. Thrown into a deadly ring of cloak-and-dagger intrigue and high-society hedonism, Sandilands chases a phantom killer through Cambridge's aristocracy, intelligentsia, cutting-edge researchers, and a clandestine ring of female spies. What secret was the dead man hiding, and what is at stake?