A twisty new murder story from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries. An old man lies dead and it looks like poison, but his wife isn't the only one who had reason to kill him.
When theatrical impresario Bert Billington is found dead in his retirement home, no one suspects foul play. But when the postmortem reveals that he was poisoned, suspicion falls on his wife, eccentric ex-Music Hall star Verity Malone.
Frustrated by the police response to Bert's death and determined to prove her innocence, Verity calls in private detective duo Emma Holmes and Sam Collins. This is their first real case, but as luck would have it they have a friend on the inside: Max Mephisto is filming a remake of Dracula, starring Seth Billington, Bert's son. But when they question Max, they feel he isn't telling them the whole story.
Emma and Sam must vie with the police to untangle the case and bring the killer to justice. They're sure the answers must lie in Bert's dark past and in the glamorous, occasionally deadly, days of Music Hall. But the closer they get to the truth, the more danger they find themselves in...
Elly Griffiths' series set in post-war Brighton are entertaining diversions full of period detail, smart plotting and likeable characters - Mail on Sunday
Wry, emotionally intelligent and quietly satisfying - Sunday Times on Now You See Them
Mixes cosiness and sharpness in a way that recalls the best of Agatha Christie - Sunday Express on Smoke and Mirrors
A piquant mixture of humour and period detail ... and truly beguiling characterisation - Financial Times on The Vanishing Box
Elly Griffiths was born in London. She worked in publishing before becoming a full-time writer. Her bestselling series of Dr Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist, are set in Norfolk. The series has won the CWA Dagger in the Library, and has been shortlisted three times for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Her Brighton-based mystery series is set in the 1950s and 1960s. Elly has also written two mysteries featuring Detective Harbinder Kaur, The Stranger Diaries, which was a Richard & Judy bestseller and won America's most coveted accolade for crime fiction, the Edgar Award, and The Postscript Murders. Elly lives near Brighton with her husband, an archaeologist, and their cat, Gus.