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  • C & R Crime

The Bee's Kiss

Barbara Cleverly

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Joe Sandilands, Fiction, Crime & mystery

A woman has been discovered bludgeoned to death in her suite at the Ritz. A broken window and missing emerald necklace suggest that it is a burglary gone wrong. But the corpse is that of a member of the British establishment, Dame Beatrice Joliffe, one of the founders of the Wrens, and so Scotland Yard send Joe to conduct a swift enquiry.

1926, and Joe Sandilands is back from India, enjoying the frantic pleasures of Jazz Age London. Yet, there is a darkness behind all that postwar gaiety. A woman has been discovered bludgeoned to death in her suite at the Ritz. A broken window and missing emerald necklace suggest that it is a burglary gone wrong. But the corpse is that of a much-respected member of the British establishment, Dame Beatrice Joliffe, one of the founders of the Wrens, and so Scotland Yard send Joe to conduct a swift enquiry. Her companion, an ex-chorus girl, falls from Waterloo Bridge at twilight.

Two of the Dame's clique of eager young Wrens commit suicide. All these deaths make Joe suspect that Beatrice has been killed by someone close to her but suddenly he finds that the case is closed and he is asked by his superiors to surrender his files. Against the background of the looming General Strike, and pressure from unseen governmental presences he struggles on, picking his way through the political panic and rebelling against authority, through to a shattering solution to the killings.

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Praise for The Bee's Kiss

  • A great blood and guts blockbuster. - Guardian

  • In some ways [Cleverly] surpasses the work of Agatha Christie. - Publishers Weekly

  • A well plotted first novel... the atmosphere of the dying days of the Raj is colourfully captured - Sunday Telegraph

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Barbara Cleverly

Barbara Cleverly was born in the north of England and is a graduate of Durham University. A former teacher, she has spent her working life in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk; she now lives in Cambridge. She has one son and five step-children.

Her Joe Sandilands series of books set against the background of the Indian Empire was inspired by the contents of a battered old tin trunk that she found in her attic. Out of it spilled two centuries of memories of a family - especially a great uncle who spent a lot of time in India - whose exploits and achievements marched in time with the flowering of the British Empire.

To find out more about the series, visit www.barbaracleverly.com.

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