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Mistress of Alderley

UK Publisher: Allison & Busby
US Publisher: Scribners

Actress Caroline Fawley is thoroughly enjoying life. Her wealthy lover, supermarket owner Marius Fleetwood, has set her and her children up in a grand house in the Yorkshire village of Marsham. Carolines frequent television work has made her relatively famous and she is something of a celebrity in the village – not to mention the romantic weekend visits from Marius, which provide something for the locals to gossip about. She is gradually becoming accepted in the village and has even agreed to host the annual fête. Her youngest children are both happy at their school, and her eldest daughter is about to take the starring role in Verdis La Forza del Destino at the Leeds Playhouse. Everything about her life seems perfect and she has taken to her new role at the mistress of Alderley with relish. But Carolines idyllic life is shattered when a young man looking remarkably like Marcus unexpectedly turns up on her doorstep. Within a few weeks Marius has gone missing and it isnt much longer before a body turns up…


Witty and subtle character portrayals, against a substantial background of opera and theater, lift the latest suspense novel from prolific British author Barnard… Ingenious twists to a satisfying plot make for fine entertainment. Publishers Weekly

Apart from technical mastery, what makes a Barnard mystery a delight to read is the wry insights and asides tossed out by his characters… Delicious moments of reflection… make a reader loath to reach the final pages Washington Post

Barnard has a sharp eye for hypocrisy, provincial snobbery and narcissism… Readers who enjoy social satire enmeshed in a good plot should add this to their collection. The Good Book Guide

“In this engaging novel, Barnard explores his own backyard: the city of Leeds and its hinterland… Told in a light-hearted manner, with the minimum of gore and psychological exploration, this is a masterpiece of crime writing.” The Good Book Guide

This is Barnards best book for some time, with a nicely puzzling whodunit and plenty of gentle, but still sharp, comedy of manners. Morning Star

On the surface, Robert Barnard has created a traditional crime novel, a whodunit written in beautiful flowing prose.  But look again and there is a quirky, nasty undercurrent that leaves you slightly edgy.  And he could plot for England.  As usual, Barnard is a witty, spiky, incisive and original observer of characters, emotions and small lives… his well of murderous acidity shows no sign of losing its poison just yet. Sherlock Magazine

another treat… all believably real and fascinating Deadly Pleasures