L.C. Tyler - A Cruel Necessity - Little, Brown Book Group

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  • Paperback £8.99
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    • ISBN:9781472115041
    • Publication date:07 May 2015
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    • ISBN:9781472115058
    • Publication date:06 Nov 2014
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A Cruel Necessity

By L.C. Tyler

  • Hardback
  • £19.99

A John Grey historical mystery

The first John Grey historical mystery

The theatres are padlocked.
Christmas has been cancelled.
It is 1657 and the unloved English Republic is eight years old. Though Cromwell's joyless grip on power appears immovable, many still look to Charles Stuart's dissolute and threadbare court-in-exile, and some are prepared to risk their lives plotting a restoration.

For the officers of the Republic, constant vigilance is needed. So, when the bloody corpse of a Royalist spy is discovered on the dung heap of a small Essex village, why is the local magistrate so reluctant to investigate? John Grey, a young lawyer with no clients, finds himself alone in believing that the murdered man deserves justice. Grey is drawn into a vortex of plot and counter-plot and into the all-encompassing web of intrigue spun by Cromwell's own spy-master, John Thurloe.

So when nothing is what is seems, can Grey trust anyone?

'Tyler juggles his characters, story wit and clever one liners with perfect balance' - The Times

'A cracking pace, lively dialogue, wickedly witty one-liners salted with sophistication . . . Why would we not want more of John Grey?' - The Bookbag

Biographical Notes

L. C. Tyler was born in Essex and educated at Jesus College, Oxford and City University. His comic crime series featuring author-and-agent duo Ethelred Tressider and Elise Thirkettle has twice been nominated for Edgar Allan Poe awards in the US, and he won the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award with Herring in the Library.

He has lived and worked all over the world, but has more recently been based in London and Sussex. He is currently Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.

To find out more about L. C. Tyler visit www.lctyler.com or follow him on twitter @lenctyler.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472115034
  • Publication date: 06 Nov 2014
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: Constable
Tyler juggles his characters, story wit and clever one liners with perfect balance. — The Times
Sphere

Wobble to Death

Peter Lovesey
Authors:
Peter Lovesey

In Victorian London, race-walking, or 'wobbles', are all the rage. So on a Monday morning in November 1879 the crowds gather for Islington's bizarre six-day endurance walking race.By Tuesday, one of the contestants is dead. Tetanus from a blister is assumed, but then there is a second death, and this time it's definitely murder. A bemused Sergeant Cribb from Scotland Yard is called in, along with Constable Thackeray, and they soon discover that something foul is at play.

Constable

The Blood

E. S. Thomson
Authors:
E. S. Thomson

I knew the smell of death well enough. But here the sweetness of decay was tainted with something else, something new and different. It was a curious, moist smell; a smell that spoke of the ooze and slap of water, of gurgling wet spaces and the sticky, yielding mud of low-tide...Summoned to the riverside by the desperate, scribbled note of an old friend, Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain find themselves on board the seamen's floating hospital, an old hulk known only as The Blood, where prejudice, ambition and murder seethe beneath a veneer of medical respectability. On shore, a young woman, a known prostitute, is found drowned in a derelict boatyard. A man leaps to his death into the Thames, driven mad by poison and fear. The events are linked - but how? Courting danger in the opium dens and brothels of the waterfront, certain that the Blood lies at the heart of the puzzle, Jem and Will embark on a quest to uncover the truth. In a hunt that takes them from the dissecting tables of a private anatomy school to the squalor of the dock-side mortuary, they find themselves involved in a dark and terrible mystery. Praise for E.S. Thomson:'Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E.S. Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale' - Daily Express'Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night' - Evening Telegraph

Constable

Fire

L.C. Tyler
Authors:
L.C. Tyler

The fourth John Grey historical mystery1666. London has been destroyed by fire and its citizens are looking for somebody, preferable foreign, to blame. Only the royal Court, with its strong Catholic sympathies, is trying to dampen down the post-conflaguration hysteria. Then, inconveniently, a Frenchman admits to having started it together with an accomplice, whom he says he has subsequently killed.John Grey is tasked by Secretary of State, Lord Arlington, with proving conclusively that the self-confessed fire-raiser is lying. Though Grey agrees with Arlington that the Frenchman must be mad, he is increasingly perplexed at how much he knows. And a body has been discovered that appears in every way to match the description of the dead accomplice.Grey's investigations take him and his companion, Lady Pole, into the dangerous and still smoking ruins of the old City. And somebody out there - somebody at the very centre of power in England - would prefer it if they didn't live long enough to conclude their work...Praise for L.C. Tyler'Tyler juggles his characters, story wit and clever one liners with perfect balance' - The Times'A cracking pace, lively dialogue, wickedly witty one-liners salted with sophistication . . . Why would we not want more of John Grey?' - The Bookbag

Sphere

The Trials of Margaret

L.C. Tyler
Authors:
L.C. Tyler

An original short story taken from the anthology Motives for Murder, by members of The Detection ClubAward-winning author L.C. Tyler brings us a humorous tale of domestic intrigue and murder.When Margaret poisons her husband after a small argument, she annoyingly fails to convince the law she is innocent and has to endure a trial. But the jury are on her side - aren't they?

Constable

Dark Asylum

E. S. Thomson
Authors:
E. S. Thomson

The lips had been darned closed with six long, black, stitches. Clumsily executed, they gave the face a crude deaths-head appearance, like a child's drawing scrawled upon a wall . . .1851, Angel Meadow Asylum. Dr Rutherford, principal physician to the insane, is found dead, his head bashed in, his ears cut off, his lips and eyes stitched closed. The police direct their attention towards Angel Meadow's inmates, but to Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain the crime is an act of calculated retribution, rather than of madness. To discover the truth Jem and Will must pursue the story through the darkest corners of the city - from the depths of a notorious rookery, to the sordid rooms of London's brothels, the gallows, the graveyard, the convict fleet and then back to the asylum. In a world where guilt and innocence, crime and atonement, madness and reason, are bounded by hypocrisy, ambition and betrayal, Jem and Will soon find themselves caught up in a web of dark secrets and hidden identities.'Following on from the events of acclaimed debut Beloved Poison, Dark Asylum vividly portrays the Gothic horror and questionable science of Victorian mental asylums in chilling detail. Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E.S. Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale' - Daily Express'Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night' - Evening Telegraph

Constable

The Plague Road

L.C. Tyler
Authors:
L.C. Tyler

The third John Grey historical mystery1665, and the Great Plague has London in its grip. Everyone who can has fled and the only sounds are the tolling bells and the incessant cry of 'bring out your dead!'. Where better, then, to hide a murdered man than amongst the corpses on their way to the plague pit?John Grey, now a successful lawyer, is called in by Secretary of State Lord Arlington to investigate an unexpected admission to the Tothill pit. The man was, before his murder, known to be carrying a letter from the Duke of York to the French ambassador. But the letter has vanished and Arlington wants it.Grey soon begins to realise why Arlington is prepared to pay well for the document. The contents will compromise not only the duke but many others around him. But Arlington is not the only one trying to recover the letter. Somebody has killed once to try to obtain it - and is prepared to kill again. And Samuel Pepys's offer of help may not be all it seems. So John Grey is forced to set off on a journey through plague-ravaged England to fulfil his commission and keep himself safe from his enemies - if the Plague doesn't get him first.Praise for L.C. Tyler'A historical thriller, but one written with tongue firmly in cheek . . . Tyler is a witty writer, and this third outing for Grey is great fun' - Sunday Times'Tyler at his entertaining best . . . a Restoration romp delivered with aplomb and verbal artistry, a delicious slice of history in all its dark, dank and deadly reality, and a veritable stage show of witty one-liners wrapped up in an enthralling mystery adventure' - Lancashire Evening Post

Constable

The City in Darkness

Michael Russell
Authors:
Michael Russell

Christmas 1939. In Europe the Phoney War hides carnage to come. In Ireland Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie keeps tabs on Irishmen joining the British Forces. It's unpleasant work, but when an IRA raid on a military arsenal sends Garda Special Branch in search of guns and explosives, Stefan is soon convinced his boss, Superintendent Terry Gregory, is working for the IRA. At home for Christmas, Stefan is abruptly called to Laragh, an isolated mountain town. A postman has disappeared, believed killed, and Laragh's Guards are hiding something. Stefan is the nearest Special Branch detective, yet is he only there because Gregory wants him out of the way? Laragh is close to the lake where Stefan's wife Maeve drowned years earlier, and when events expose a connection between the missing postman and her death, Stefan realises it wasn't an accident, but murder. And it will be a difficult, dangerous journey where Stefan has to finally confront the ghosts of the past not only in the mountains of Wicklow, but in Spain in the aftermath of its bloody Civil War, before he can return to Dublin to find the truth.

Constable

A Masterpiece of Corruption

L.C. Tyler
Authors:
L.C. Tyler

The second John Grey historical mysteryIt is December 1657. John Grey, at his cramped desk in Lincoln's Inn, is attempting to resume his legal career. A mysterious message from a 'Mr SK' tempts him out into the snowy streets of London and to what he believes will be a harmless diversion from his studies. But Mr SK's letter proves to have been intended for somebody else entirely and Grey unwittingly finds himself in the middle of a plot to assassinate the Lord Protector - a plot about which he now knows more than it is safe to know. Can he both prevent the murder and (of greater immediate relevance) save his own skin? Both the Sealed Knot and Cromwell's Secretary of State, John Thurloe believe he is on their side, but he is unsure that either is on his. As somebody is kind enough to point out to him: 'You are a brave man, Grey. The life of a double agent can be exciting but very short.' Grey just has to hope that prediction is wrong.Praise for L.C. Tyler'Tyler juggles his characters, story wit and clever one liners with perfect balance' - The Times'A cracking pace, lively dialogue, wickedly witty one-liners salted with sophistication . . . Why would we not want more of John Grey?' - The Bookbag

Constable

Beloved Poison

E. S. Thomson
Authors:
E. S. Thomson

'A marvellous, vivid book ... immaculately researched and breathtakingly dark' - Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher's HookRamshackle and crumbling, St Saviour's Infirmary awaits demolition. Within its stinking wards and cramped corridors the doctors bicker and fight. Ambition, jealousy and hatred seethe beneath the veneer of professional courtesy. Always an outsider, and with a secret of her own to hide, apothecary Jem Flockhart observes everything, but says nothing.And then six tiny coffins are uncovered, inside each a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. When Jem comes across these strange relics hidden inside the infirmary's old chapel, her quest to understand their meaning prises open a long-forgotten past - with fatal consequences.Perfect for fans of Sarah Perry, Antonia Hodgson and Jessie Burton.'Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night' - Evening Telegraph'Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E.S. Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale' - Daily Express'A first class piece of historical crime writing' - Big Issue

Constable

Wrath of the Furies

Steven Saylor
Authors:
Steven Saylor

In 88 B.C., it seems as if the entire ancient world is at war. In the west, the Italian states are rebelling against Rome; in the east, Mithridates is marching through and conquering the Roman Asian provinces. Even in the relatively calm Alexandria, a coup has brought a new Pharaoh to power and chaos to the streets. The young Gordianus has been waiting out the chaos in Alexandria, with Bethesda, when he gets a cryptic message from his former tutor and friend, Antipater. Now in Ephesus, as part of Mithridates' entourage, Antipater seems to think that his life is in imminent danger. To rescue him, Gordianus concocts a daring, even foolhardy, scheme to go "behind enemy lines" and bring Antipater to safety. But there are powerful, and deadly forces, at work here, which have their own plans for Gordianus. Not entirely sure whether he's a player or a pawn, Gordianus must unravel the mystery behind the message if he's to save himself and the people he holds most dear.

Constable

Brighton Belle

Sara Sheridan
Authors:
Sara Sheridan

'Feisty, intelligent and charming' James Runcie, author of the The Grantchester Mysteries1951, Brighton. With the war over and the Nazis brought to justice at Nuremberg, Mirabelle Bevan (retired Whitehall secretary) thinks her skills are no longer required. After her lover's death she retires to the seaside to put the past behind her and takes a job at a debt collection agency run by the charismatic Big Ben McGuigan. But when the case of Romana Laszlo - a pregnant Hungarian refugee - comes in, Mirabelle soon discovers that her specialist knowledge is vital. With enthusiastic assistance from insurance clerk Vesta Churchill, they follow a mysterious trail of gold sovereigns and corpses that only they can unravel.'Beneath that prim exterior lies a fearless, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of gal. One part Nancy Drew, two parts Jessica Fletcher, Mirabelle has a dogged tenacity to rival Poirot' Sunday Herald

Sphere

The Chelsea Strangler

Susanna Gregory
Authors:
Susanna Gregory

In the sapping summer heat of 1665 there is little celebration in London of the naval victory at the Battle of Lowestoft. The King, his retinue and anyone with sufficient means has fled the plague-ridden city, its half-deserted streets echoing to the sound of bells tolling the mounting number of deaths. Those who remain clutch doubtful potions to ward off the relentless disease and dart nervously past shuttered buildings, watchful for the thieves who risk their lives to plunder what has been left behind.At Chelsea, a rural backwater by the river, with fine mansions leased to minor members of the Court avoiding the capital, there are more immediate concerns: the government has commandeered the theological college to house Dutch prisoners of war and there are daily rumours that those sailors are on the brink of escaping. Moreover, a vicious strangler is stalking the neighbourhood.Thomas Chaloner is sent to investigate the murder of the first victim, an inmate of a private sanatorium known as Gorges. There have been thefts there as well, but the few facts he gleans from inmates and staff are contradictory and elusive. He realises, though, that Gorges has stronger links to the prison than just proximity, and that the influx of strangers offers plenty of camouflage for a killer - a killer who has no compunction about turning on those determined to stop his murderous rampage.

Constable

The Anatomist's Apprentice

Tessa Harris
Authors:
Tessa Harris

The 18th-century meets the sharp blade of forensic science...The death of Lord Edward Crick has unleashed a torrent of gossip through the seedy taverns and elegant ballrooms of Oxfordshire. Few mourn the dissolute young man - except his sister, the beautiful Lady Lydia Farrell. When her husband comes under suspicion of murder, she seeks expert help from Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young anatomist and pioneering forensic detective from Philadelphia.Against his better judgment he agrees to examine Sir Edward's decomposing corpse, and soon learns that it is not only the dead but also the living to whom he must apply the keen blade of his intellect. And the deeper the doctor's investigations go, the greater the risk that he will be consigned to the ranks of the corpses he studies...Praise for Tessa Harris:'A densely plotted yarn about a crafty 18th-century poisoner wreaking havoc on the Oxfordshire estate of a noble family . . . we await - indeed, demand - the sequel' New York Times Book Review'Populated with real historical characters and admirably researched, Harris's novel features a complex and engrossing plot. Savvy readers will also recall Hilary Mantel' Library Journal'The author will have you flipping the pages at each unexpected turn in the plot. The novel is an absorbing read with a shocking twist at the end' Historical Novel Society

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The Detective Wore Silk Drawers

Peter Lovesey
Authors:
Peter Lovesey
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Abracadaver

Peter Lovesey
Authors:
Peter Lovesey
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The Body In The Thames

Susanna Gregory
Authors:
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A Plague On Both Your Houses

Susanna Gregory
Authors:
Susanna Gregory

For the twentieth anniversary of the Matthew Bartholomew series, Sphere is delighted to reissue the first three books with beautiful new series-style covers.Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated. But Matt is determined to get to the truth, leading him into a tangle of lies and intrigue that cause him to question the innocence of his closest friends - and even his family - just as the Black Death finally arrives...A Plague on Both Your Houses is the book that introduced Matthew Bartholomew to the world.

Sphere

A Conspiracy Of Violence

Susanna Gregory
Authors:
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Lis Howell

Lis Howell teaches television to postgraduate students at City University. As a TV executive she started up Living TV and was first female Head of News at ITV. She later organised Sky's coverage of the First Gulf War. Lis is a practising Anglican.

Margaret Yorke

Margaret Yorke was awarded the 1999 Cartier Diamond Dagger for her outstanding contribution to the crime fiction genre. She was a past chairman of the Crime Writers' Association and the author of over 50 novels. She died in November 2012.