Synopses & Reviews
When Great War veteran Laurence Bartram arrives in Easton Deadall, he is struck by the beauty of the place: a crumbling manor, a venerable church, and a memorial to the villages soldiers, almost all of whom died in one bloody battle.
Now peace prevails, and the rest of England is newly alight with hope, but Easton Deadall remains haunted by tragedy—as does the Easton family. In 1911, five-year-old Kitty disappeared from her bed and has not been seen in thirteen years; only her fragile mother still believes she is alive. While Laurence is a guest of the manor, a young maid vanishes in a sinister echo of Kittys disappearance. And when a body is discovered in the manors ancient church, Laurence is drawn into the grounds forgotten places, where deadly secrets lie in wait.
A gorgeous restoration of the manor-house mystery, The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton is sure to entrance literary, historical, and crime fiction readers.
"A 20-year-old kidnapping with faint echoes of the Lindbergh case drives Grimes's convoluted fourth crime novel featuring Emma Graham, a direct sequel to 2005's Belle Ruin. Emma, a 12-year-old cub reporter who also helps out at the Hotel Paradise in La Porte, Md., where her mother's the cook, thinks that the accounts don't add up about the unsolved disappearance of Baby Fay Slade from the nearby Belle Rouen hotel. Emma's doubts center on the possible role of Fay's father, the shady Morris Slade; Morris's spoiled wife; his rich father-in-law; and his former neighbors. The abrupt reappearance of Morris Slade and the arrival of a smug new hotel employee raise further questions and end in sudden death. Grimes's strength is in her appealing characters, from the inquisitive Emma and her dipsomaniac great-aunt, Aurora, to the pretentious 16-year-old Ree-Jane Davidow and philosophical auto mechanic Dwayne, but gaps in logic, lack of red herrings, and frequent references to earlier entries in the series may put off some readers, especially those unfamiliar with the previous books. 4-city author tour. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Praise for Elizabeth George and her Novels
"Elizabeth George is a superstar of the crime-fiction world, British Inspector Division. Deservedly so: Her tails always provide nuanced character studies and insights into social issues along with their intricate mysteries."
—The Seattle Times on Believing the Lie
“Definitely a literary force to be reckoned with.”
“Its tough to resist Georges storytelling, once hooked.”
"Riveting tale of love, passion, and betrayal...series fans will enjoy following Lynley and Havers on their first investigation outside the U.K., while newcomers will be just as enthralled."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Just One Evil Act
"Just One Evil Act [is] among the most demanding and satisfying of the many detective novels by Elizabeth George."
—The Wall Street Journal
"A serious, suspenseful, thought-provoking and heart-rending novel."
—Richmond Times Dispatch on Just One Evil Act
“George is a master of the wily plot and the timely tossed out red herring… Georges fans will be glad to see Havers back in action, even though, as ever, shes quick to land in trouble. And as for Lynley—well, hes as cool as ever, in more than one sense of the word.”
—Kirkus Reviews on Just One Evil Act
"This is a must for fans of this series. Twists and turns are vintage George and do not disappoint."
—Library Journal on Just One Evil Act
"A multiplicity of subplots and a richness of physical detail...The terrain and the weather are objective correlatives to the characters' stormy patches. Meanwhile, the story strands are untied and retied in satisfying and often moving ways."
—The Wall Street Journal on Believing the Lie
—Entertainment Weekly on Believing the Lie
"A dense, twisty plot with characters who reveal the sad spectrum of human dereliction."
—People on Believing the Lie
"George's...ability to continually enhance the portraits of Lynley, Havers, and other recurring characters while generating fully fleshed new ones for each novel is nothing less than superlative, and her atmospheric prose, complete with lovely and detailed descriptions of her setting, combines to add literary gravitas to her work....A worthy addition to her portfolio and one that simultaneously disturbs and satisfies."
“This is one of her best.”
—Daily American on Believing the Lie
“Georges many fans…will be thrilled with this new episode in the lives of her lovable cast of characters.”
—Library Journal on Believing the Lie
“George's strengths--character development, plot twists and shocking tragedy--continue to shine.”
—Shelf Awareness on Believing the Lie
“A book of twists, turns and, to be blunt, fantastic writing…A complete A+ for the mystery realm.”
—Suspense Magazine on Believing the Lie
“[Lynley is] one of the great character portraits in contemporary crime fiction.”
—The Boston Globe
Laurence Bartram is a British architectural scholar, a veteran of World War I, and a man who has lost his wife, infant son, and much of his hold on life. Speller, who introduced Bartram in her first novel, thewidely acclaimed The Return of Captain John Emmett (2011), picks up the theme of the great losses that devastated England in the wake of the Great War. The novel is set in a Wiltshire village, the aptly namedEaston Deadall, which the war has totally cleared of young, able-bodied men, leaving only widows,children, and old men hanging on. Invited to the village to give his advice on a projected maze tocommemorate the war dead, Bartram is drawn into the tragedy that hangs over the Easton family aspalpably as the atmosphere in Poes House of Usher. Lady Eastons five-year-old daughter, Kitty,disappeared in 1911, and no body or evidence has yet been found. Shortly after Bartrams arrival, akitchen maid goes missing. And then a body is found in the Saxon church next to the manor. Whether Bartram is examining the intricate bestiary of a Saxon arch, the extravagance of the Victorian house itself,or the geometry of the planned maze, he brings a sense of how his interest in architecture, somethingoutside the doom of the Great War, may yet save him. An intriguing leas character and fascinating subject matter, skilfully realized.--
Booklist, STARRED review
Laurence Bartram, a veteran of the Great War, is called by an old army comrade, William Bolitho, to Easton Deadall, a small manor house in the west of England, to help out with architectural work. Bolitho will be installing a memorial window in the manors church in honor of the men the Easton family and its village sacrificed in World War I. Lydia, the widowed lady of the manor, is still haunted by the disappearance of her five-year-old daughter, Kitty, 13 years earlier. As Laurence unravels the mysteries of the ancient church, he also learns more about the greater mysteries that surround the village and the Easton familys dark secrets. VERDICT Spellers follow-up to her acclaimed debut, The Return of Captain John Emmett, is a well-crafted mystery with intriguing historical details and measured pacing that creates suspense. Fans of Jacqueline Winspears Maisie Dobbs series and readers who enjoy well-drawn characters in historicals will add this to their wish list.--Library Journal "Ms. Speller's considerable gifts as a social historian are on fine display...The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton is as much a literary novel as it is a thriller...Ms. Speller combines a Ruth Rendell-like psychological realism, an Agatha Christie-like plot and a Dickensian feel for life's roulette to create a complex and multi-faceted story that is as thought-provoking as it is pulse-pounding."--Wall Street Journal
The beguiling young sleuth Emma Graham returns.
Martha Grimes returns to her twelve-year-old heroine, Emma Graham, in this suspenseful sequel to the bestselling Belle Ruin. Emma continues her investigation into the strange disappearance of the four- month-old Slade baby from the Belle Ruin Hotel more than twenty years before. The sudden appearance in town of the baby's father, Morris Slade, makes her even more determined to learn the truth. Then a mysterious drifter named Ralph Diggs appears at the Hotel Paradise, looking for work, ingratiating himself with everyone there. Everyone, that is, except Emma.
The perceptive Emma is bound once again to delight fans of the previous books Hotel Paradise, Cold Flat Junction, and Belle Ruin, and certain to win new readers with her intuition and humor.
For waitress and cub reporter Emma Graham, tragedy defines where she lives. Spirit Lake, La Porte, and Lake Noir have been held in thrall by intertwined crimes: the murders of Mary-Evelyn Devereau, Rose Queen, and Fern Queen; the supposed kidnapping of a four-month-old baby from the Belle Ruin hotel twenty years previously; and, most recently, the attack on Emma. And with the arrival of an unexpected visitor and a drifter, it looks like the bad times have only begun...
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The beguiling young sleuth Emma Graham returns.
When the body of an unknown woman is discovered on the grounds of the Easton manor house, World War I veteran Lawrence Bartram is drawn into a dangerous labyrinth where the family's secrets are lurking—and among them might be the fate of Kitty Easton, the girl who vanished from their home fifteen years earlier. A gripping new installment in Elizabeth Spellers literary mystery series set in England between the wars.
About the Author
Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen suspense novels, two young adult novels, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha Awards as well as several other prestigious prizes. She lives in Washington State.