Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mystery Book Review: No More Dying by David Roberts

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of No More Dying by David Roberts. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

No More Dying by David Roberts

by
A Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne Mystery

Soho Constable (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-56947-539-3 (1569475393)
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-539-3 (9781569475393)
Publication Date: February 2009
List Price: $25.00

Review: Lord Edward Corinth investigates a pre-war assassination plot in No More Dying, the ninth mystery in this series by David Roberts.

The year is 1939. Hitler's Germany is advancing on all fronts, and the threat of world war seems imminent. British intelligence learns of a secret plot to kill its Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, because he believes that, with the help of the United States, England can defeat Germany. The US Ambassador to England, Joseph Kennedy, however, has said America will not get involved. Lord Edward Corinth is asked to stay close to Churchill. Separately, Verity Browne, a reporter and card-carrying member of the Communist Party, has ordered her to do whatever necessary to make a connection with the Ambassador, even if it means using her fiancé, Lord Edward.

Verity and Lord Edward are an odd couple, to be sure. Verity doesn't believe in "anything that makes a woman less than a man" but she's in love with Lord Edward, her polar opposite. She is convinced their love for each other will withstand all obstacles brought forth by their contrasting beliefs and diverse backgrounds, and from both their families and friends.

The couple is invited to the Astor estate where Ambassador Kennedy and his sons, Joe Jr. and Jack, are staying. Verity despises the environment she finds herself in, but when a fellow reporter, also a Communist, is found dead, she cannot leave. The next day, another man is found murdered in a similar manner. Lord Edward, who fancies himself an amateur sleuth, always wonders why dead bodies turn up where they ought not. Are these deaths related, or somehow connected to the plot the kill Churchill? Verity is facing problems of a different sort. Members of her party are acting in a manner contrary to her strongly held views. Does she look the other way for the sake of the party or confront them for the sake of her beliefs?

Lord Edward and Verity realize they have a better chance working together with Scotland Yard to solve these murders and identify the threat facing the Prime Minister.

No More Dying is a multi-faceted story that will resonate with readers. Real life historical figures mingle with richly drawn fictional characters, and are set within an electrifying murder mystery. This bleak time in world history provides a striking backdrop to the plot, and the complex but deeply satisfying love story between Lord Edward and Verity make the book not only fully developed but complete.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of No More Dying and to Soho Press for providing an ARC of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Lord Edward Corinth embarks on his most important investigation. It is 1939 and it is clear that Britain will soon be at war and MI5 has learnt that an enemy agent has been dispatched to England to assassinate Winston Churchill. The assassin’s identity is unknown and Lord Edward, pursuing one line of enquiry, goes to Cliveden, the Astors' country house in Buckinghamshire.

Verity Browne is also at Cliveden, much as she despises the "Cliveden Set". She has been ordered by her superiors in the Communist Party to get as close as possible to one of the Astor’s guests, Joesph Kennedy, the American Ambassador in the UK. And when the ambassador’s sons Joe and Jack Kennedy discover the body of a man in Cliveden’s grounds, Verity is dismayed to recognize the dead man as a former journalistic colleague from the civil war which still rages in Spain.

The race against time to identify Churchill’s would-be assassin and the murderer of Verity’s friend takes the intrepid duo to Switzerland and a nail-biting climax on St Moritz’s icy Cresta Run.

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