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No More Dying
Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne Book IX

by David Roberts

      The clouds are gathering, and war looks imminent in February 1939.  Somebody is going to try and assassinate Churchill, whose predictions look ominously likely to come true soon and fast.  The fledgling MI5 call upon the services of Lord Edward Corinth to discover who the would-be assassin is and stop them.  This necessitates a visit to Cliveden, home of the Astors and currently where Joseph Kennedy, the American ambassador, is staying with members of his family.  Meanwhile, Verity Browne is wondering whether she wants marriage to Lord Edward, and also whether the Communist party is still an organisation she wants to be a part of.

Nobody does 20th century history quite like David Roberts, and one of his novels is always a treat.  Not because of the plot exactly, but because of the book’s ability to immerse the reader in the political atmosphere of the 1930s.  As ever, Verity steals the show here and continues to be one of mystery fiction’s most real-seeming heroines.  Here she ponders on whether being a Communist and marrying into the aristocracy is possible, and also on what the party has become in recent years.  A theme running through the book is the appeal of the ideas behind Communism, a desire for justice and equality which is betrayed by those in power.  Also under the microscope are the Astors, the Kennedys and Churchill, portraits sketched in briefly, but which manage to come to vibrant life.  There is even a dramatic denouement in St Moritz, leaving me feeling that there had been something of everything in an admirably paced book.  A series to cherish.

The Book

Constable (Constable and Robinson)
November 2008
1845296907 / 9781845296902
Historical Crime / 1939 London, Buckinghamshire, England and St Moritz
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009