Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crime Fiction Alphabet: Letter E



I have signed up for a second year of The Alphabet in Crime Fiction, a community meme sponsored by Mysteries in Paradise. Each week she'll be expecting participants to produce a post featuring a mystery/crime novel or novelist related to that week's letter. 

We're traveling right along on our alphabet journey. This week we are ready for the Letter E.  My choice for E is Elizabeth Ironside, the pseudonym of Lady Catherine Manning, wife of the British Ambassador to the U.S. Her first novel, A Very Private Enterprise,  won Britain’s John Creasey Award for Best First Mystery of 1985, and her second novel, Death in the Garden, was nominated for Britain’s CWA Gold Dagger for Best Mystery of 1995. 
I have not read A Very Private Enterprise, but Fantastic Fiction gives us this description:
Hugo Frencham, senior diplomat at the British High Commission in New Delhi, is found stabbed to death. George Sinclair, a security officer from the foreign office, is sent from London to sweep the ends under the carpet. But he soon discovers that matters refuse to be tidied up.  
And Goodreads has a blurb from the "Times Literary Supplement" [UK] that says the book "is a really excellent first novel, with original and interesting characters, great atmosphere, good action, and a genuine surprise".  I don't doubt it.  I have read both Death in the Garden and her fifth book A Good Death (click titles for review) and found them both to be very satisfying reads in very different ways.  As I note in my review for A Good Death, I find Elizabeth Ironside to be a very versatile writer.  While both novels deal with events in both the past and the present, she handles her material very differently.  The mood and the setting are quite different as well--and extremely effective in each.  It is obvious that she has done her research into the period and she produces just the right tone and feel.  I fully intend to read the remaining three novels--all of which are stand-alone pieces.

A list of her novels from Fantastic Fiction:
A Very Private Enterprise (1984)
Death in the Garden (1995)
The Accomplice (1995)
The Art of Deception (1998)
A Good Death (2000)
 

6 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Bev - I like your choice! And thanks for sharing some interesting information on her background too. I always like learning those things; they help me to understand the author's viewpoint.

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

A new author to me, but her books look interesting and as though she has used her background, at least in writing her first book - in the diplomatic service I mean, not in murder!

Carol said...

Also new to me. These sound intriguing and the subject matter is right up my alley. Get the crampons ready! Mount TBR beckons.

Clarissa Draper said...

The only trouble with this Crime Fiction alphabet is that my TBR pile keeps adding up. Thanks for the look into this author's life.

Peggy Ann said...

I am finding way too many new authors! I will never get everyone read! I've started a list of the authors I find on this meme.

TracyK said...

I have read both of your reviews of this author's books previously and I enjoyed them. I have two of her books but have read neither. Hope to do that soon.