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Fortune Favours the Dead: The Extremely Entertaining 2020 Radio 2 Book Club Pick

Stephen Spotswood

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Crime & mystery, Classic crime

The first in the brilliant new Pentecost and Parker series, set in New York City in the 1940s. A hugely entertaining murder mystery featuring an iconic new crime-solving duo. Sure to delight fans of Agatha Christie, The Mitford Murders, and The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. A 2020 Radio 2 Book Club pick.

The first in the brilliant new Pentecost and Parker series, FORTUNE FAVOURS THE DEAD is a hugely entertaining murder mystery set in 1940s New York City.

'It's got razor-sharp style, tons of flair, a snappy sense of humour, and all the most satisfying elements of a really good noir novel, plus plenty of original twists of its own.' Tana French

New York, 1945. Lillian Pentecost is the most successful private detective in the city, but her health is failing. She hires an assistant to help with the investigative legwork. Willowjean Parker is a circus runaway. Quick-witted and street-smart, she's a jack-of-all-trades with a unique skill-set. She can pick locks blindfolded, wrestle men twice her size, and throw knives with deadly precision - all of which come in handy working for Ms P.

When wealthy young widow Abigail Collins is murdered and the police are making no progress, Pentecost and Parker are hired by the family to track down the culprit. On Halloween night, there was a costume party at the Collins' mansion, where a fortune teller performed a seance which greatly disturbed Abigail. Several hours later her body was discovered bludgeoned to death in her late husband's office. Problem is, the door to the office was locked from the inside. There was no-one else in the room, and the murder weapon was beside the victim; the fortune teller's crystal ball.

It looks like an impossible crime, but Pentecost and Parker know there is no such thing...

Praise for Fortune Favours the Dead:

'Spotswood's stellar debut puts a modern spin on classic hard-boiled fiction. . . The deep and sensitive characterization of the two protagonists, coupled with rich description and tonally spot-on humour, make this a novel to remember. Spotswood is definitely a writer to watch.' Publishers Weekly

'This hugely enjoyable debut is a deft melange of Agatha Christie-style locked-room murder mystery and 1940s Chandler-esque pulp crime fiction with a feisty narrator' Irish Independent Review

'Persuasive in its attention to period detail and dialogue, with well-constructed set piece scenes deftly staged, this is a highly accomplished, auspicious first entry in what we must hope will be a long-running series' The Irish Times

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Stephen Spotswood

Stephen Spotswood is an award-wining playwright, journalist, and theatre educator. He makes his home in Washington, DC with his wife, young adult author Jessica Spotswood, their cat, and an ever-growing collection of books.

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