Called to the peaceful wooded churchyard of St-John’s-at-Hampstead, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose faces one of the most audacious and unusual murders of his career. The body of the church’s organist is found in an opened grave, together with a photograph of a manor house and a cryptic note. The image leads Archie to Cambridge, where the crisp autumn air has brought with it bustling life to the ancient university and town.
Both Josephine Tey and Archie’s lover Bridget have recently settled in Cambridge, though both women are not equally happy to see him. One has concealed an important secret from Archie which now threatens to come to light. Meanwhile, the change of seasons has also brought with it a series of vicious attacks against women in town, spreading fear and suspicion through the community.
Soon, another body is revealed, and in the shadow of King’s College Chapel, Archie uncovers a connection twenty-five years old which haunted both victims—as well as some of their living companions. As Archie and Josephine each grapple with savage malefactors intent on making their victims pay, they must race to stop another attack in this beautifully written, intricately plotted mystery.
Nicola Upson was born in Suffolk and read English at Downing College, Cambridge. She has worked in theatre and as a freelance journalist, and is the author of two non-fiction works and the recipient of an Escalator Award from the Arts Council England. Her debut novel, An Expert in Murder, was the first in a series of crime novels to feature Josephine Tey—one of the leading authors of Britain’s age of crime-writing. Her research for the books has included many conversations with people who lived through the period and who knew Josephine Tey well, most notably Sir John Gielgud. The book was dramatised by BBC Scotland for Woman’s Hour, and praised by PD James as marking ‘the arrival of a new and assured talent’. Nicola lives with her partner in Cambridge and Cornwall. This is her seventh Josephine Tey mystery.
Praise for London Rain:
“Historical crime fiction at its very best.”
“A complex and compelling plot with rich historical detail…. A brilliant meditation on love’s depths and darknesses, London Rain stands out on every level…complete with a stunning conclusion.”
“Upson’s psychologically complex and twisty sixth whodunit…Upson adroitly confounds the reader’s expectations, and her subtle and emotionally intelligent exploration of Josephine’s relationship with her lover, Marta, adds depth.”
—Publishers Weekly starred review
“For fans of period British crime fiction, this sixth series entry…delivers deft plotting and evocations of the era through charming descriptions of London.… Intriguing.”
—Library Journal starred review
“Revenge, murder, and royal pageantry…. The complexity of the overlapping relationships and a burst of momentum make [this] fictionalized heroine’s sixth case a worthy sequel to its predecessors.”
“Old secrets come to light involving murder…in the sixth entry in this series, notable for its well-wrought characters and involving plots that vividly capture a time and place.”
“The author continues to blend history and fiction seamlessly…. A murder mystery that will keep readers guessing. The glimpses into the changing face of feminism and the politics of the BBC in the late 1930s prove equally intriguing.”
—RT Book Reviews
“This book is what historical crime is all about.”