Anthony Gilbert - Snake in the Grass - Orion Publishing Group

Snake in the Grass

By Anthony Gilbert

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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express

Con Gardiner had no family; his work and his one-room flat filled most of his solitary existence, until one evening a strange girl in the street asked him to lend her a pound.

Con was attracted to Caro Graves, and puzzled too; he couldn't see what would become of this girl who had just left her husband after a bitter quarrel, and who had nowhere to go. But he was soon to have more to worry about: Caro's husband was dead . . . and Caro was the main suspect.


'Anthony Gilbert's novels show the unsensational type of detective story at its best' Daily Telegraph

Biographical Notes

Anthony Gilbert was the pen name of Lucy Beatrice Malleson. Born in London, she spent all her life there, and her affection for the city is clear from the strong sense of character and place in evidence in her work. She published 69 crime novels, 51 of which featured her best known character, Arthur Crook, a vulgar London lawyer totally (and deliberately) unlike the aristocratic detectives, such as Lord Peter Wimsey, who dominated the mystery field at the time. She also wrote more than 25 radio plays, which were broadcast in Great Britain and overseas. Her thriller The Woman in Red (1941) was broadcast in the United States by CBS and made into a film in 1945 under the title My Name is Julia Ross. She was an early member of the British Detection Club, which, along with Dorothy L. Sayers, she prevented from disintegrating during World War II. Malleson published her autobiography, Three-a-Penny, in 1940, and wrote numerous short stories, which were published in several anthologies and in such periodicals as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and The Saint. The short story 'You Can't Hang Twice' received a Queens award in 1946. She never married, and evidence of her feminism is elegantly expressed in much of her work.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781471910012
  • Publication date: 14 Mar 2014
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: The Murder Room
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Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD's finest investigators until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault, a charge that lands him in the notorious Rikers Island prison.A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid by someone in the NYPD to frame him all those years ago, King realises that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of - and why.At the same time, King must investigate the case of black radical journalist Leonard Compton, aka A Free Man, accused of killing two on-duty police offices who had been abusing their badges to traffic drugs and women into the city's poorest neighbourhoods.In pursuit of justice, our hero must beat dirty cops and even dirtier bankers. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: Compton's, and King's own.

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Don't Let Go

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The Man Who Wasn't There

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Marjorie Hyde, a gifted but unsuccessful actress, is happily married. Like many members of her profession she is temperamental, and though not that beautiful has that Titian colouring that is supposed to make men mad. Her husband, Christopher, is insanely jealous, and after learning that she is frequently in the company of Philip Clare, a barrister and Parliamentary candidate, Christopher threatens to instigate divorce proceedings that would ruin his rival's career.The same night, he drinks his usual glass of after-dinner port and dies from hyosin poisoning. And in the unravelling of the mystery surrounding his death, nobody is free from suspicion.

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Murder Has No Tongue

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Flora Horsley, wife of a MP, is warned by a palmist that she must leave her husband or she will die. Flora, believing that her husband is attempting to murder her, decides to leave him. The haunting fear of death already holds her in a terrifying and remorseless grip, but will she be able to escape its embraces?

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Treason in my Breast

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'Few murders would go unhung,' said plump, cynical Arthur Crook, 'if people used their eyes more. It's the man selling violets in the gutter, the woman exercising her Pekinese, the chap reading the midday racing news in the Tube who actually have the chance to spot the murderer. They're the people he can't guard aginst.'Arthur Crook is a delightful nosey-parker, and here his blustering humour and bulldog tenacity face their toughest test yet.

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The Bell of Death

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The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corrine, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corrine's deception, and realizes that if he doesn't make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he's stumbled into will not only ruin lives - it will end them...

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Third Crime Lucky

Anthony Gilbert
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Mr Cobb is the third elderly invalid to die conveniently, if unexpectedly, in the house of Fred and Bessie Meadows. Yet who could suspect this responsible, honest couple? Nothing is too much trouble, yet wherever they go, death goes too. But their third crime involves them with Arthur Crook, and that's when their luck turns.Fans of the lawyer-sleuth know that his arrival on the scene brings action, and that every sort of cunning will be employed to ensure the innocent are kept safe and the guilty . . . trapped.'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express

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Murder is a Waiting Game

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The Musical Comedy Crime

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The Vanishing Corpse

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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressLaura Verity is an elderly lady with not much money and no past - not someone things happen to. But suddenly her life is plunged into danger, and without lawyer-sleuth Arthur Crook's timely interference, she might have lost it altogether.One thing she will never lose, though, is her head: the police don't believe her - she proves them wrong. The wine might be poisoned - she'll keep it for Crook to test. Does that car belong to the murderer? She'll just get in and see where he takes her. Together, brave Miss Verity and Arthur Crook uncover the truth about a murder.

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A Nice Cup of Tea

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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressWhen Alice Hunter's mother dies, after grimly clinging on for eighty-odd years, it is enough for genteel Alice just to be free. But she soon becomes lonely, having few points of contact with the people in the cheap boarding houses which are all she can afford. Then comes news of a legacy, and Alice's soul rises as she travels to the family's lawyers in Bath. Her new life is not what she expects, however, and she is lost in a fog of human misunderstanding, hatred and deceit. A nice cup of tea, stirred by detective Arthur Crook, is what she will need to put things right . . .

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The Voice

Anthony Gilbert
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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressWhat seemed like an ordinary phone call in the middle of the afternoon suddenly plunges its recipient, Simon Crete, into a plot of blackmail and murder.'Tell him it's no use. I haven't got it,' the mystery woman's voice cried desperately down the line. But who was she? And why was she ringing a man whom she had never seen?

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The Looking Glass Murder

Anthony Gilbert
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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressSolange Peters 'died' - and so did the scandal and suspicion that haunted her. A bizarre accident gave her the chance to assume a new identity - and, as Julie Taylor, she set out on a new life.But soon her job as companion to wealthy, neurotic Bianca Duncan plunges her into a distorted and terrifying existence. A menace to Bianca's life is growing daily and a strange young man could expose Julie's masquerade. Tension and struggle mount until suddenly Julie is struggling for her life at the hands of a murderer.

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The Visitor

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Margaret Ross knew she had to pay off the blackmailer, Samson, or else her beloved son would go to jail for forgery. The next night she rang the bell at Samson's sinister house on Margate Street. There was no answer. Slowly she entered the house and went up the stairs. Samson was waiting at his desk - murdered. She found the incriminating letters and the cheque and escaped with them. But she had been seen. The dangers gather like wasps around Margaret and it takes all of Detective Arthur Crook's genius to get to her in time. 'Amusing and zestful, with an unexpected and exciting climax' Daily Telegraph

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Night Encounter

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Missing From Her Home

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Death Wears a Mask

Anthony Gilbert
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May Forbes, forty plus and single, came four nights a week to feed the wild cats on Broomstick Common. That was how she happened to glimpse a masked man with a spade. Fearful for her own life, she lands up at the Mettlesome Horse, where that remarkable lawyer, Arthur Crook, is drinking at the bar.So when the body of pretty eighteen-year-old Linda Myers is found buried on the Common, Crook discovers a number of people who might want the girl dead.Then May Forbes leaves for work one lunchtime and does not reappear . . . 'Ingenious plot leavened with sly humour' Evening News 'The plot is knife-edge tension all the way' Belfast Telegraph

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Tenant for the Tomb

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Death at Four Corners

Anthony Gilbert
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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressWhen Doctor Terence Ambrose visits Gervase Blount at Four Corners he notices the body of a man low down on a cliff near the house. His enquiries into the man's death point suspicion at several people, particularly his old friend from Balliol Gervase Blount himself. As he delves into the past a complicated web of intrigue is slowly exposed . . .