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  • The Murder Room

The One That Got Away

Helen McCloy

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Dr Basil Willing, Fiction, Crime & mystery

'McCloy has always resembled the best writers of the Sayers-Blake-Allingham school' New York Times

A castle, a deserted village, and murder in the Scottish Highlands

When child psychologist and US Naval Intelligence officer Lieutenant Peter Dunbar takes on a secret mission in the Scottish Highlands at the end of World War II, he finds himself drawn into the lives of a troubled boy and his beautiful young cousin.

But why does Johnny Stockton refuse to explain why he keeps running away from his comfortable home? And how might the answer be entangled with the mystery of an escaped German prisoner and a dying man's message?

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Helen McCloy

Helen Worrell Clarkson McCloy (1904-1994)
Born in New York City, Helen McCloy was educated in Brooklyn, at the Quaker Friends' school, and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1927-1932 she worked for Hearst's Universal News Service after which she freelanced as an art critic and contributor to various publications, including theLondon Morning Post. Shortly after her return to the US she published her first novel, Dance of Death, in 1933, featuring her popular series detective-psychologist Basil Willing. The novel Through a Glass Darkly, a puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, is the eighth in the Basil Willing series and is generally acknowledged to be her masterpiece. In 1946 McCloy married fellow author Davis Dresser, famed for his Mike Shayne novels. Together they founded Halliday & McCloy literary agency as well as the Torquil Publishing Company. The couple had one daughter, Chloe, and their marriage ended in 1961. In 1950 Helen McCloy became the first woman president of the Mystery Writers of America and in 1953 she was awarded an Edgar by the same organisation for her criticism. In 1987, critic and mystery writer H. R. F. Keating included her Basil Willing title Mr Splitfoot in a list of the 100 best crime and mystery books ever published.

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