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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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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Blind Date

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield
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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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The Nature Of The Beast

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield
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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

Kathryn and David are the ideal couple: she, petite and pretty; he, dark, debonair and gifted. But beneath the smooth surface, unseen by their envious or admiring friends, splinters are beginning to form. David suspects one of their two children is not his own, for plump and naughty Jeanetta does not conform with the controlled perfection with which he surrounds himself. Kathryn struggles to iron out family confrontations and maintain the calm of their lives together - but slowly things start to slip from her control. Bits of jewellery and items of clothing mysteriously go missing. David's mood swings become more irrational and violent. His drive to dominate and order the world he's created intensifies to the point of locking the playroom door and pocketing the key - a move that signals the final route into the chaos that will disrupt their perfect world.

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Staring At The Light

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Someone has stolen the only person Johnny 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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Shadow Play

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield
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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 . . .

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Seeking Sanctuary

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

When Theo Calvert was driven out of the family home by his wife's cloying piety he had determined that his daughters would follow him. But in the face of the law, the girls' health and his wife's intransigence, he failed. But, if he lost the battle for their souls in life, he would make amends in death, craftily shaping his will to benefit them so long as they did not follow their mother's example. His daughters felt they had lost either way, especially Anna. She had promiscuously turned her back on her mother's teachings, but watched in horror as her sister Therese followed those same lessons and naively accepted the faith which Anna was certain had ruined their lives. In her rebellion against such blind belief she at first doesn't notice the worm in their midst when the convent where Therese has settled employs a new gardener. And when she does wake up to the danger she realises she may have left it too late to save their legacy and their lives.

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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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Half Light

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Elisabeth is a picture restorer. This gives her the solitude and independence she needs - living and working alone in her flat. Despite her skills and reliability, Elizabeth undercharges for her work - valuing the worth of the paintings rather more than herself. Her ambitions are modest: beauty to look upon, unintrusive friendships and complete privacy. But when a mysterious and obviously wealthy man commissions her to restore his fabulous collection, an uncharacteristic combination of curiosity and financial need prompts her to accept his offer. Elisabeth soon realises her error, as the past and the present combine to make privacy her nemesis. As she becomes hostage to her patron, her lover and her friend realise they know nothing about her, or where she might be.

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Let's Dance

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield
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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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Perfectly Pure And Good

Frances Fyfield
Authors:
Frances Fyfield

Sarah Fortune is happy to be sorting out the inheritance problems of the Pardoes, as it promises to distance her from a claustrophobic relationship with Malcolm Cook, and she cannot bear to be a captive.But she soon discovers that guilt, insecurity, unrequited love and a touch of insanity afflict the Pardoes and the seaside town where they live in Norfolk - all a legacy of a suicide of two years before, when a beautiful woman walked into the sea and never came back. And there is another element of the legacy, a white-haired figure some call a ghost and others call a vagrant who roams the beach and harmlessly haunts the town: until he insinuates himself into the power struggles of the Pardoe children and becomes the mysterious and cunning enemy of all concerned.

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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 . . .