Alive and Dead
By Elizabeth Ferrars
One of the best-loved and most prolific crime writers of her generation.
Martha Crayle trusted everyone, so when the frightened girl arrived at the National Guild for the Welfare of Unmarried Mothers on that drizzly, cold autumn afternoon, Martha gladly took her to the spacious Victorian house where in harder times she had taken in lodgers. But her one remaining boarder, grumpy Mr Syme, was sure the girl was lying.
And the very next day, when Martha brought home a saucy girl with lilac lipstick, Mr Syme was positive she was lying too. Martha still wasn't convinced - until one of the unfortunate girls involved them all in a sinister murder.
One of the most distinguished crime writers of her generation, Elizabeth Ferrars was born in Rangoon and came to Britain at the age of six. She was a pupil at Bedales school between 1918 and 1924, studied journalism at London University and published her first crime novel, Give a Corpse a Bad Name, in 1940, the year that she met her second husband, academic Robert Brown. Highly praised by critics, her brand of intelligent, gripping mysteries beloved by readers, she wrote over seventy novels and was also published (as E. X. Ferrars) in the States, where she was equally popular. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine described her as as 'the writer who may be the closest of all to Christie in style, plotting and general milieu', and the Washington Post called her 'a consummate professional in clever plotting, characterization and atmosphere'. She was a founding member of the Crime Writers Association, who, in the early 1980s, gave her a lifetime achievement award.
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- Publication date:
14 Oct 2014
- Page count:
The Murder Room