Anthony Gilbert - Riddle of a Lady - Orion Publishing Group

Riddle of a Lady

By Anthony Gilbert

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

When Detective Arthur Crook first saw Stella Foster he knew she was marked for trouble. Stella was irresistible to men, a woman who loved laughter and pleasure - a woman, in fact, after Mr Crook's heart. The next time he saw her, Stella was dead.

To find her killer, London's genial detective pursues his unorthodox way through a maze of tangled and conflicting clues to solve a clever and brutal crime of passion.


'Unquestionably a most intelligent author. Gifts of ingenuity style and character drawing' Sunday Times

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: 9781471910050
  • Publication date: 14 Mar 2014
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: The Murder Room
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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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Third Crime Lucky

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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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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressMargaret Fielding, wife of an eminent QC, was tried for the murder of her first husband ten years ago and, innocent, was acquitted for lack of evidence. Now someone is threatening to produce evidence that could convict her. Fortunately, Margaret meets Arthur Crook, the detective lawyer to whom the innocent turn, never in vain. When her blackmailer is found murdered, just after she is seen, distraught, leaving the premises, it is to Crook that she tells her tale. But someone knows Crook by reputation, and is anxious that he does not take on Margaret's case.

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The Musical Comedy Crime

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Major John Hillier is found dead in his flat, early one morning, in strange circumstances. Inspector Field traces the dead man's last movements and learns that, after breaking up a dinner party, he visited a remote suburban theatre to see a leading lady he didn't even know by sight.Field traces the Major's history back some years and finds himself entangled in a net of underworld intrigue in England and further afield. Drugs, blackmail and a crime years old all play their part in an affair that starts to attract wide attention.'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express

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The Vanishing Corpse

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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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Tenant for the Tomb

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On a quiet country station, Detective Arthur Crook, waiting for the train to London, witnessed a near-fatal accident. Despite the arm of her companion, Miss Imogen Garland slipped and almost fell under the train. No harm was done, and Arthur Crook might not have thought anything more about it had not a newspaper item a few weeks later caught his eye. Miss Garland had once again been involved in an accident, this time fatal. Only it was not Miss Garland who had died . . .'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express

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Death at Four Corners

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The Case Against Andrew Fane

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The Body on the Beam

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When Florence Penny's body is found hanging from a beam in the bedsit she has been renting, it looks to Inspector Field like a case of suicide. Soon, though, he realises murder is the motive, and the discovery of a single pink bead among the disordered bedclothes leads him to prime suspect Charles Hobart.It's now up to Scott Egerton, Hobart's prospective brother-in-law, and an astute private inquiry agent named Gordon to establish Hobart's innocence . . .'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express

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An Old Lady Dies

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The Man in Button Boots

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Courtier to Death

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Eight years ago René Tessier was at the height of his fame. Now the once-celebrated film star frequents less reputable Parisian cafés. That is until young producer Julian Lane plans to star Tessier in his latest production with the promise of millions.Tessier is headed to London. But the washed-up old man spends less than 24 hours in a dingy Soho hotel before he is found dead. Was it suicide or murder? And who could have wanted Tessier dead?'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express

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The Clock in the Hatbox

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Circumstantial evidence was as good as proof in the trial of Viola Ross. Everything pointed to the conclusion that this beautiful woman had smothered her wisp of a husband. But the twelfth juror, Richard Arnold, would not agree. Perhaps he knew something which the others didn't - perhaps he only guessed.When a retrial is ordered, Arnold sets out to conduct his own investigation. But soon he is faced with three attempts on his life.'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express

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Ring for a Noose

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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressIt is at a local watering hole, the Duck and Daisy, that lawyer-detective Arthur Crook happens upon a party of men and women calling themselves the Peace Brigadiers. Their mission is to aid refugees from Europe.But it isn't long before Crook suspects one of them is using the premises for criminal ends. And when murder strikes Crook becomes entangled in a treacherous plot . . .