D is for Death

Meet Dora Wildwood, historical crime's brilliant new heroine!

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Pub Date 6 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 6 Jun 2024

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'A glorious, stylish story of passion, poison and peril' LUCY DIAMOND
'What a world, what a plot, what a cast - a masterpiece!' VERONICA HENRY
'A charming and authentic ode to Golden Age crime fiction and to books in general. In a genre replete with world-weary cynicism, Dora Wildwood makes for an endearingly optimistic feminist sleuth' CHRIS BROOKMYRE

Meet Dora Wildwood: runaway bride, book lover, and aspiring detective.
Likes: solving crimes, peppermint creams, trousers and her own independence.
Dislikes: cracked book spines, tyrannical behaviour, beetroot.

1935. Dora'son the first train to London, having smuggled herself out of the house in the middle of the night to escape her impending marriage. But unluckily for her, Dora's fiance is more persistent than most and follows.

As Dora alights at Paddington station, she is immediately forced to run from the loathsome Charles Silk-Butters. She ducks into the London Library to hide and it is there, surrounded by books, where she should feel most safe, that Dora Wildwood stumbles across her first dead body.

Having been thrown into the middle of a murder scene, it's now impossible to walk away. Indeed, Dora's certain she will prove an invaluable help to the gruff Detective Inspector Fox who swiftly arrives on the scene. For as everyone knows, it's the woman in the room who always sees more than anyone else: and no one more so than Dora herself...

D is for Death heralds the launch of a brilliant historical crime series that marries the quality of Dorothy L. Sayers with the ingenuity of Janice Hallett - and in Dora Wildwood introduces a character with the spark and gusto of Enola Holmes and the detective skill of Miss Marple. It is the debut crime novel from bestselling author Harriet Evans, writing as Harriet F. Townson.

'So good and funny ... bristling with loveable characters' LAURA WOOD
'I am now a Dora addict ... so wonderful' NATASHA POLISZCZUK

'A glorious, stylish story of passion, poison and peril' LUCY DIAMOND
'What a world, what a plot, what a cast - a masterpiece!' VERONICA HENRY
'A charming and authentic ode to Golden Age crime fiction...

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ISBN 9781399731492
PRICE £20.00 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

I had the time of my life reading D is for Death, the first crime novel by Harriet Evans. It is absolutely delicious, a mash up of so many of my favourite things, with a heroine who has gone straight to the top of my list of favourite sleuths.

This book is deep in chatty, affectionate conversation with classic crime novels, it is so good and funny and interested in small, important things like velvet lined tweed capes, peppermint creams and pearlescent blue tea cups. It is bristling with loveable characters (Dreda, straight out the pages of Georgette Heyer! Susan, Albert, Maria, a whole crew of loveable librarians! Miss Pym! I’m already hopelessly team Fox and his handsome forearms) It felt like there were potential stories everywhere, like there should already be a hundred more of these, and a long-running twelve season tv series that we all rewatch at the weekend.

I think it’s clear that I loved it, but here is a non-exhaustive list - if, like me, you enjoy these things I think this will be absolutely your cup of tea: Harriet Vane, Phryne Fisher, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, Cold Comfort Farm, Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series, all the London shenanigans in I Capture the Castle, excellent clothes including a sequinned Schiaparelli jumpsuit, Enola Holmes, Nancy Mitford, giraffes, Veronica Speedwell, vintage green penguin paperbacks, and cinnamon toast from Betty’s.

What bliss!

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A new heroine for the age, Dora Wildwood is on the run from a potentially disastrous marriage. Her mother is dead and her father too blinded with love of another bride to notice that Dora is in danger of being sucked into a stifling relationship.
Upping sticks Dora is headed to her Godmother’s but fate and circumstance intervene and a brief respite in a library result in her witnessing a murder. Her strong desire to right wrongs, make a living and also to escape the clutches of her persistent fiancé, Dora finds that she is embroiled in a mystery and involved with a mysterious librarian and a contrarian policeman. In between the ghastly murders and controlling would be groom we manage to get some lighter comedic moments that pitch his into more light hearted territory we come to expect from cosy crime.
Great fun to read and enjoy with its period setting and likeable heroine.

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I absolutely loved "D is for Death" by Harriet F Townson. Set in the Golden Age, it is exactly how I think murder mystery books should be written. Endearing and inquisitive characters and a funny plot. Look forward to the next one.

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