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Sweet Sorrow
Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne Book X

by David Roberts


Everybody knows that war is imminent; it is just of matter of when, and the waiting is getting to everybody. Edward and Verity have a home of their own at last in the outwardly cozy village of Rodmell. This village is also the home of quite a few artists and writers, most notably Virginia Woolf and her husband, but also of the self-congratulating poet Byron Gates. When the latter is murdered at a village fete by having his head chopped off, it is up to our sleuths to discover whodunit.

Well, I always said that these books are impressive just for their ability to immerse the reader in the 1930s. Normally the plots are less than impressive, but this one has a proper traditional era-style murder mystery that is most suited to the period and setting. The blending of the two makes for a real treat, with Roberts bringing the doomed atmosphere to tactile life as he describes the sight of a barrage balloon in London, or the delivery of gas masks to the villagers. Verity continues to steal the show, this time frustrated with her new life as a wife and itching to be off on a war correspondent’s mission. There is also a fascinating portrait of the early days of the BBC, and of course plenty of political and literary figures to admire, such as Virginia Woolf, Sir John Reith and Dylan Thomas. This is one of the strongest titles in the series to date, a series that just keeps getting better and better. Very highly recommended.

The Book

Constable (Constable and Robinson)
5 November 2009
1845296915 / 9781845296919
Historical Crime /1939 / Sussex and London
More at US || UK
NOTE: US edition is Soho Constable

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009