This is the sixth novel in which clever Nicola Upson has featured Josephine Tey who was considered among the best writers in early crime fiction in the English speaking world. This time the setting is May of 1937, the year in which the coronation of George V1 took place. In fact the action mostly takes place on Coronation Day itself, a day of huge, and noisy, celebration throughout the nation.
Using her skills, Upson evokes that day in London, particularly around the BBC, to perfection, not missing a beat in anything from food to fashion, which will add to the atmosphere she needs to create around a murder or two. One tiny example the canteen at Broadcasting House was “stark and modern in design ….. attractive to the offer of three courses for sixpence”. Josephine’s friend, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose is summoned to the scene of the murder, in his broadcasting booth, of one of the commentators on the procession, and is confronted with much more than he expected.
A confession was freely given, but, through Josephine, Archie is led back to a death some years earlier the death of the sister of the woman who had confessed to this crime. How on earth could they be connected?
After a slow build-up, the story suddenly takes off as secret after secret is revealed, and another murder is committed. You will be biting your finger-nails down to the elbow before the dénouement. It is a bumpy, interesting ride, particularly as the combination of history and baffling crime is so audaciously brought together in a finely crafted story.
by: NICOLA UPSON
PUBLISHEDby FABER & FABER for a recommended $29.99