Related to: 'The Art Of Drowning'

M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin

Agatha Raisin, gin-drinking, chain-smoking and unlucky-in-love PR guru, retires from her London agency to start a new life in the Cotswolds. Very soon the tedium of country living forces her to start a detective agency where solving murders is very much on the agenda…

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Perfectly Pure And Good

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield
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Staring At The Light

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Someone has stolen the only person John Smith has ever loved - his twin brother Cannon. Johnny will stop at nothing to get him back but Cannon doesn't feel the same way any more. He's married now, and he loves his wife. In a desperate effort to avoid Johnny's destructive brotherly affections, Cannon enlists the aid of Sarah Fortune, a lawyer who has turned helping the needy and eccentric into something of an art form.Sarah hides Cannon's wife for him, but she cannot quite trust Cannon's judgement. Is Johnny really intent on inflicting unendurable pain on the woman who has hi-jacked his brother's affections? Sarah doesn't really believe in evil, and it is that lack of faith which makes her shockingly vulnerable ...

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Cold To The Touch

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Beautiful, volatile Jessica has long since burned her boats in the village by the sea where she was born. She longs to return, but first she needs to secure the love of the powerful man who has spurned her obsessive adoration.Sarah Fortune, her older, cynical friend, is keen to distance herself from her usual haunts and welcomes the chance to leave London in the hope that she might she be able to effect a reconciliation between Jessica and her mother. Pennyvale both charms and distracts her with hints of scandal and buried secrets, but it soon begins to disquiet her as cracks of distrust and jealousy show in the polite façades. Sarah is excited when Jessica tells her she is coming home, but she never arrives. Sarah's instinctive knowledge of Jessica leads her back to the capital, fearful of what she will find. What she discovers reveals a truth more chilling than she could have imagined, but she has to return to Pennyvale to fully understand how Jessica was finally brought home, and why...

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A Painted Smile

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Young, rich widow Diana Porteous has inherited a vast collection of paintings, but she feels without purpose again. Then her beloved stepgrandson comes up with the idea for an exhibition of portraits with the title 'A Question of Guilt'. It starts as a joke, but soon they are preparing the huge wine cellar of the old schoolhouse by the sea, in spite of those with misgivings as to its suitability. Soon Di has plenty to occupy her: a mysterious woman encourages Di and her friend Sarah Fortune, both natural thieves, to steal from a public collection. And then there's the life-drawing class, where an artist dies and someone steals from him, placing his finds in the cellar.A novel of conundrums, paintings, moral uncertainties and family relationships, A Painted Smile continues the adventures of two of Frances Fyfield's most beloved characters and will win over many more fans of quality fiction.

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Casting the First Stone

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

A year after her husband's death, young widow and art collector Diana Porteous listlessly roams the beach near her home. Her friend and agent Saul takes action, introducing her to his stylish, anarchic sister, Sarah, to pep her up.They plan that Di should rediscover her talents as a thief, as well as art expert, to recover stolen paintings - and begin with Steven, the neighbour's son, who is amassing works of art in a strange building in London, including work stolen from his mother.But if Di is interested in his illicit treasures, he is equally fascinated by hers - and in the secrets still held in that house by the sea. . .

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Gold Digger

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

The warmth of him, the glorious warmth, was fading by the minute.In a huge old school house by the sea, full of precious paintings, Thomas Porteous is dying. His much younger wife Di holds him and mourns. She knows that soon, despite her being his sole inheritor, Thomas's relatives will descend on the collection that was the passion of both of their lives.And descend they do. The two needy daughters, who were poisoned against their father by their defecting mother, are now poison themselves. With the help of an unlikely collection of loners and eccentrics, Di sets a trap to hoist the family members on their own greed. And on the night they are lured to the house, Di will be ready.Or will she?

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Blind Date

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

How do you make people love you? Emma Davey, who loved gemstones and life, found it easy. Everyone loved her. Until someone put a black bin liner over her head and kicked her to death. For others, the quest is harder. Elisabeth Kennedy, Emma's older sister and a disgraced ex-police officer, considers herself beyond love or even self-respect. She is haunted by Emma's death and her own humiliating attempts to lure the killer into a confession. Then she is the victim of a senseless attack which adds physical scars to a fractured spirit. Still convalescent, but wanting to hide from the world, she flees the comfort of her mother's seaside house for her own eccentric home. High in her disused London belltower, she will be safe and anonymous. But the safest places are not sacrosanct, especially the human heart, and the search for love, as well as revenge, goes on and on, like the search for hidden treasure. Elisabeth must find the courage to face a terror which is greater by far than loneliness . . .

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A Question Of Guilt

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield
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A Clear Conscience

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Helen West's personal life is in need of repair, and she decides the first move is to tidy up her home, helped by her cleaning lady, Cath, who is trapped in a miserable marriage. Working by day with domestic violence cases, Helen finds it too easy to turn a blind eye to Cath's unhappiness, but then her personal and professional lives collide as she witnesses the destructive forces of love and guilt, and finds herself applying her own version of justice.

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Deep Sleep

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Pip Carlton is a devoted husband and a highly respected pharmacist, cherished by his loyal customers in Herringbone Parade. When his wife dies in her sleep, without cause and without pain, he is distraught. Comforted by his caring assistant, Pip struggles to take up the threads of his life, ignoring the rumours about Margaret's death, relieved that the police are content to shrug off the mystery.But Helen West, Solicitor and Crown prosecutor, fresh from hospital herself, refuses to believe that Margaret simply slipped into her final slumber. Others are more difficult to convince, including Helen's awkward and pragmatic partner, Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey, and the only people who share her suspicions are a confused and lonely boy and the drug addict who dies so mysteriously in Geoffrey's arms.Memories in the Parade are inflamed by the discovery of an unexploded bomb and in the midst of the evacuation of the streets, one lone man, armed with strange love potions prepares to murder again.

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Shadows on the Mirror

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Sarah Fortune is bored to death - but few know, and less would guess, how the beautiful and successful redheaded solicitor escapes the stultifying tedium of her career. Since the death of her unfaithful husband, Sarah has found a practical way of transforming the lives of lonely men that also suits her warm and defiant nature.Kind, witty and obese lawyer Malcolm Cook is the first to benefit from Sarah's generosity - he shrugs off years of weight and loneliness. But then she meets Charles Tysall, an important client of the firm, whose charisma and enormous wealth conceal an implacable will and a misogynist's mad obsession.

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Undercurrents

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Henry didn't turn back when Francesca needed him twenty years before. Now, on some sort of journey to anchor his soul, he arrives in her home town of Warbling and discovers that she's even further beyond his reach - serving a life sentence for the murder of her child.Still intrigued by her, and entranced by his memories, he becomes drawn into the town and the people who knew her far better than he - her cousin, her lawyer, her closest friend, Angela, whose adopted daughter Francesca had helped her acquire. He finds himself a lodger in the House of Enchantment, an eccentric boarding house run by two gay men who believe the comfort of their guests is above profit. And he finds himself incapable of believing that Francesca is a killer, even if she did confess her crime in chillingly logical detail. But if it wasn't her, then who?Peopled with richly quirky and original characters, this is a novel of suspense in which the truth is better left unknown.

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The Playroom

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield
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Shadow Play

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Mr Logo is a familiar figure in the courts, frequently accused of indecent assault, but invariably acquitted due to lack of evidence. He is frustratingly familiar to the Crown Prosecutor Helen West, who again has just failed to prosecute him. This isn't the only set-back in her life: her long-term relationship with Geoffrey Bailey is even more brittle, and she has to deal with the insubordination of her office clerk, which unwittingly sets in motion events which push Mr Logo's rage and dark passion to lethal extremes.

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Let's Dance

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Isabel Burley returns to her childhood home to look after her mother, Serena, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. There she finds a bemused, angry, charming old woman, prey to the threats of failing memory, the inability to run her own home - and the local villains who are eyeing her isolated home.As the villains inexorably move in, Isabel finds herself struggling with another threat from within. She thinks she has gone home to do some good, but is she really looking for the love she lacked as a child? Alienated by her mother's growing eccentricity, the two women become locked in a relationship of love, hatred and simmering violence, with roots that go deep into the past.

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Looking Down

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Richard Beaumont hoped to see the elusive crow on the Dover cliffs. Instead he sees a young woman falling to her death.No-one recognises her, no-one has reported her missing and Richard returns, shaken, to his wife, but instead of finding solace in Lilian's company, he locks himself away and obsessively paints the scene of the woman's broken body on the rocks. His cool behaviour towards her takes Lilian to the flat below and the worldly-wise company of Sarah Fortune. But Sarah, once Richard's lover, is awkward with her and is also preoccupied with her brother's unbreakable habit of cat-burglary and the suspicious traffic to the penthouse at the top of the mansion block. Unable to forget what he witnessed, Richard returns to the coast and is befriended by the local police surgeon. Recently widowed, John is depressed, not so much by his wife's death but by the realisation that his marriage had been a loveless void. Recognising the symptoms, Richard introduces him to Sarah so that she can no longer ignore the Beaumonts' troubles and is drawn into helping to trace where the dead girl came from and in so doing reveals a trade which is both breathtakingly lucrative and chillingly cruel.

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Trial By Fire

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

When the naked body of a woman is found near the Essex commuter village of Branston the locals are as baffled as they are shocked. A crime of passion? Surely not here. But when Crown Prosecutor Helen West and Detective Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey scratch at the thin veneer of gentility they discover a hidden world of passion, envy and betrayal - primed and ready to explode . . .

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Without Consent

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Prosecutor Helen West views the whole subject with a jaundiced eye. In this case, she doesn't even like the officer accused, the volatile and compulsively unfaithful DS Ryan, friend of her lover, Superintendent Bailey. Ryan maintains a stubborn silence in the face of the charge but when the physical evidence against him proves to be unusually strong, West and Bailey assume his guilt. Until slowly, preoccupied as they are with their own loves and loyalties, a different suspect begins to emerge. A man who knows the law and how to avoid it. A man who believes that there is no such thing as rape when the victim welcomes him. And there is no legal formula to deal with someone who brings chocolates and flowers, leaves without a trace, corrupts the witness with her own shame and learns to kill with impunity . . .

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Blood From Stone

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

When the body of a successful criminal barrister is found outside a chic Kensington hotel, it looks at first like a suicide. For colleagues and friends, her death comes as a huge shock - Marianne Shearer was at the pinnacle of her career, wealthy and stylish - but for the police the case is open-and-shut. There's something strange about the circumstances, though, something that prompts fellow lawyers Thomas Nobel and Peter Friel to dig deeper. Little by little, they discover that all is not as it seems. Oddly enough, Marianne herself appears to have left a series of small, almost imperceptible clues - clues that point to a far more sinister truth. Retracing Marianne's steps, Nobel and Friel uncover a carefully concealed darker side of her perfect life that leads them back to her last, gruesome case - when she knowingly sacrificed an innocent witness to let a criminal walk free.

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Safer Than Houses

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Sarah Fortune inherited her flat from one of her many lovers. Now a son has appeared claiming it is his, morally if not strictly legally, and he is using illegal means to persuade Sarah to give it up: abusive letters threatening her personal harm. As it becomes more difficult to ignore these missives, Sarah comes across Henry, a timid, lonely man whose upstairs neighbour is using every trick in the racketeer landlord's book to make him leave his home: litter in the shared hallway, continual noise, poison set out for his cat. It seems that if they swap accommodation for a while they may be able to deal with each other's problems. But these two strangers have unknown connections in common: a well-meaning widow, a struggling therapist, and a man who sets fire to other people's property for a living ...