BARBARA CLEVERLY SERIES:

    Bright Hair About the Bone

      Barbara Cleverly

Bright Hair About the Bone

In Burgundy, France, in 1926, a famed archaeologist dies a terrible death in a country not his own.Thus begins CWA Historical Dagger Award winner Barbara Cleverly’s dazzling new mystery novel. And soon aspiring archaeologist Laetitia Talbot will find herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy centuries in the making.

Letty’s joy at snaring a place in the excavation of an ancient church in Burgundy is dimmed by the tragedy of her godfather Daniel’s violent death. But when Letty receives a posthumous encoded message, she begins to believe that Daniel’s death was not a random act. Her investigation into Daniel’s murder sends her on a journey into a country’s remote history…into the orbit of a privileged French family harboring its own damning secret…into ancient Celtic mysteries and one sacred truth kept through the ages. It is an explosive revelation that could rock modern Christianity—and force a killer out of the shadows as a country devastated by one war lays the groundwork for another.…

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Dagger Award–winner Cleverly's third Laetitia Talbot mystery falls short of the high standard set by the first in this historical series, The Tomb of Zeus (2007). Talbot, a fiercely independent amateur sleuth in the spirit of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher, is plunged into international intrigue after her godfather, Daniel Thorndon, is stabbed to death in Burgundy in 1926. Before dying, Thorndon managed to mail a coded postcard to Talbot, using a cipher the two had shared when she was much younger. Aided by an improbable bodyguard, a military chaplain who served in WWI, Talbot journeys to France, where she uses her archeological skills to link up with a dig that may enable her to solve the mystery of Thorndon's death. Stock characters abound, like an enigmatic but handsome French nobleman, rather than the original creations who populate Cleverly's Joe Sandilands historical series (Ragtime in Simla, etc.). (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Cleverly brings readers an engrossing new historical mystery. British archaeologist Laetitia “Letty” Talbot secures a place working on the excavation of an ancient church in Burgundy, France, in 1926. Her happiness is tempered by the fact that her godfather, Daniel Thorndon, died violently while working there. As she works, she realizes that Daniel’s death was not an accident and begins investigating the circumstances. As she delves into the case, she uncovers some of the region’s ancient history and its links to a powerful French family with a shocking secret. She also learns about Celtic mysteries and uncovers a revelation that could have major implications for the future of Christianity. Cleverly’s complex plot and doom-laden atmosphere will appeal to a diverse group of readers, from Da Vinci Code devotees to those who relish the archaeological mysteries of Elizabeth Peters. --Barbara Bibel

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    The Palace Tiger

      Barbara Cleverly

The Palace Tiger

India, 1922. In this, the fourth in the acclaimed Joe Sandilands series, Scotland Yard detective Joe arrives in the princely state of Ranipur at the request of the Maharajah, an old ally of the British. The Maharajah is dying, and the succession is unclear. The death of his first son, while panther-wrestling, is suspicious, but as Joe begins to investigate a second son dies dramatically right before his eyes. With only the youngest, aged 12, now left to succeed, can Joe ensure his survival? In the glittering and luxurious setting of the court with its array of powerful, scheming characters, Joe must find his way through the maze of intrigue to trap, at last, the palace tiger.

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    Tug of War

      Barbara Cleverly

Tug of War

Joe Sandilands has been despatched to France to stay as the guest of a glamorous French war-widow on her Champagne estate. The widow is determined that Joe should support her claim that a mysterious shell-shocked soldier, suffering from amnesia and a loss of speech is her husband. The problem is that four other claimants have identified him differently, and his doctor suspects he is an English soldier.Joe decides to investigate the four claimants and picks his way through a tangle of lies, deceit, and manipulation, discovering that each of the four has an undeclared motive for claiming the unknown soldier. He uncovers a cleverly concealed murder committed during the war years and during this pursuit he finds out who the soldier really is. The discovery presents him with an even greater dilemma, he must not only to solve a killing in the past, but avert a tragedy in the future. Praise for Barbara Cleverly's Previous Novels 'A delight' The Observer for Folly...

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    The Damascened Blade

      Barbara Cleverly

The Damascened Blade

In her acclaimed mysteries set in the age of the British Raj, Barbara Cleverly brilliantly captures a fascinating collision of cultures against a backdrop of jasmine-scented nights and neatly trimmed English gardens. In her gripping new novel, the author of The Last Kashmiri Rose and Ragtime in Simla transports us to the remote and exotic setting of India’s North-West Frontier, where a group of travelers is swept into a spellbinding drama of kidnapping, vengeance, and murder.

Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands has been given the unenviable mission of guarding a spirited young American woman with far more wealth than sense. Lily Coblenz, accompanied by a cunning businessman, a woman doctor, and two quarreling military strategists, expects the adventure of a lifetime when she arrives at a remote British outpost. But when the son of a Pathan tribal leader is discovered dead, Sandilands, a decorated war veteran, knows that his mission to protect Lily has suddenly taken a startling new turn that may bring them all to the brink of war.

Now, from the far reaches of an empire, Joe Sandilands must separate lies from truths, innocents from killers—and find the one person with a desperate motive for murder and the key to India’s destiny.

From Publishers Weekly

Devotees of classic Golden Age whodunits will delight in British author Cleverly's third Joe Sandilands mystery set in India in 1922; it evokes, and in some ways surpasses, the work of Agatha Christie. The resourceful and insightful Sandilands assumes a glorified babysitting assignment when a rich and attractive American heiress expresses a desire to tour India's dangerous northwest frontier with Afghanistan during a period of heightened political tension. The heiress and Sandilands end up at a frontier outpost with a motley collection of companions—a Pathan prince and his kinsman, a female doctor en route to serve the amir ruling Afghanistan, a sleazy entrepreneur, an RAF pilot hoping to gain support for an increased military aerial presence and a veteran civil servant advocating a British retreat. When the prince is found dead, evidence suggesting foul play is suppressed. Sandilands is forced to act on his suspicions when the victim's kinsman takes a hostage and imposes a one-week deadline for a solution to the crime. Cleverly does a masterful job of combining traditional puzzle elements, including false endings and subtle fair-play clues, with convincing period atmosphere and characters with more complexity and sophistication than Christie typically provided. This marvelous historical delivers on the promise of the author's first two mysteries—The Last Kashmiri Rose (2002) and Ragtime in Simla (2003)—and should add to her growing U.S. fan base.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Scotland Yard commander Joe Sandilands never seems to get a real vacation. His third attempt finds him again in India during the Raj, this time near the Afghan border in the northwest. While visiting an old army friend, James Lindsay, Sandilands receives orders to chaperone American heiress Lily Coblenz, who is in search of adventure and the "real" India. The situation at Gor Khatri, a frontier fort, is tense. The fragile peace with the local Pathan tribesmen is broken, a Pathan prince dies, and British hostages are taken. Sandilands and his crew have one week to identify, arrest, and execute the prince's killer and avoid a war. As she did in The Last Kashmiri Rose (2002) and Ragtime in Simla (2003), Cleverly uses her portrayal of life at the fort to capture the essence of the declining British Empire. She also introduces several strong feminist characters who prove that they are more than capable of surviving in the harsh frontier environment. This excellent historical mystery gains immediacy in light of recent events in the region. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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    The Last Kashmiri Rose

      Barbara Cleverly

The Last Kashmiri Rose

In a land of saffron sunsets and blazing summer heat, an Englishwoman has been found dead, her wrists slit, her body floating in a bathtub of blood and water. But is it suicide or murder? The case falls to Scotland Yard inspector Joe Sandilands, who survived the horror of the Western Front and has endured six sultry months in English-ruled Calcutta. Sandilands is ordered to investigate, and soon discovers that there have been other mysterious deaths, hearkening sinister ties to the present case.

Now, as the sovereignty of Britain is in decline and an insurgent India is on the rise, Sandilands must navigate the treacherous corridors of political decorum to bring a cunning killer to justice, knowing the next victim is already marked to die.

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    The Blood Royal

      Barbara Cleverly

The Blood Royal

On his return from India, Commander Joe Sandilands, now adept at the arts of dynamic diplomacy, finds himself up to his neck in a tricky political situation. A war-weary London is reeling from IRA atrocities and Joe is further plagued by the machinations of a spy-ring being run under his nose by a Russian emigree princess. When a war hero is gunned down and the life of an even more popular Englishman threatened, Joe knows he only has days to root out the woman who is behind the killings: Irish? Russian? Or somebody quite other? With the aid of the proposed victim who offers himself as bait, and the services of a woman police constable, Joe discovers that the murderer's motive is not political but much more devious and deranged. And when the mask comes off, the killer's identity shocks even the battle-hardened commander.

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    A Spider in the Cup

      Barbara Cleverly

A Spider in the Cup

At dawn one morning in 1933, an amateur dowsing team digging the banks of the Thames for precious metals unearths the body of a young woman with a missing toe and a priceless gold coin in her mouth. The case falls on Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard Joe Sandilands' turf, but he's been given another assignment—and a very high-profile one. London is hosting a historic global economic conference to try to solve the global Depression, and political tensions are running very high, as very influential participants are starting to take positions allied with or staunchly against the rapidly militarizing Germany. Sandilands' job is to protect and keep an eye on the visiting American senator Cornelius Kingstone, right-hand man to President Roosevelt, throughout the conference. When a strange set of coincidences link the river bank body to the senator, Joe realizes his assignment is much bigger than he'd thought, and that Senator Kingstone is caught up in a very dangerous game—one that might cost not just one but thousands of lives.

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    The Bee's Kiss

      Barbara Cleverly

The Bee's Kiss

1926, and Joe Sandilands is back from India, enjoying the frantic pleasures of Jazz Age London. Yet, there is a darkness behind all that postwar gaiety. A woman has been discovered bludgeoned to death in her suite at the Ritz. A broken window and missing emerald necklace suggest that it is a burglary gone wrong. But the corpse is that of a much-respected member of the British establishment, Dame Beatrice Joliffe, one of the founders of the Wrens, and so Scotland Yard send Joe to conduct a swift enquiry. Her companion, an ex-chorus girl, falls from Waterloo Bridge at twilight.

Two of the Dame's clique of eager young Wrens commit suicide. All these deaths make Joe suspect that Beatrice has been killed by someone close to her but suddenly he finds that the case is closed and he is asked by his superiors to surrender his files. Against the background of the looming General Strike, and pressure from unseen governmental presences he struggles on, picking his way through the...

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    Strange Images of Death

      Barbara Cleverly

Strange Images of Death

Praise for the Joe Sandilands series:

"In her spellbinding debut mystery, The Last Kashmiri Rose, Barbara Cleverly evokes both the enchantments and the dangers of India during the convulsive later days of the Raj."--The New York Times

"Cleverly maintains the high standards set by earlier Sandilands tales, blending a sophisticated whodunit with full-blooded characters and a revealing look at her chosen time and place."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

Provence, 1926. Scotland Yard detective Joe Sandilands is on leave, driving his way south to the Riviera while dropping off his niece at an ancient chateau.

A troubling crime committed just before their arrival leaves a clear message that more violence is to come. To allay panic, Joe agrees to stay on and root out the guilty person. But, despite Joe's vigilance, a child goes missing and an artist's beautiful young model is murdered in circumstances eerily recreating a six...

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