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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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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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 bell of St Ethelburga's had stopped ringing. It had pealed out its customary call to the faithful, its gentle reproach to the sluggards; but somehow that morning it did not seem to ring as long as usual. For Death had been busy in the belfry, where a startled vicar made an appalling discovery.The murder in the church begins another mystery for the inimitable Crook and Parsons, who shine with their trademark ingenuity and impudence.

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Third Crime Lucky

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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

Anthony Gilbert
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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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'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

Anthony Gilbert
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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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An Old Lady Dies

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The Clock in the Hatbox

Anthony Gilbert
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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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The Voice

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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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Night Encounter

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The shades of night were falling fast when Arthur Crook drove the old Superb over the Lakeland Fells and into the valley, to stop at a mysterious house where, though a light burned in an upper window, no one answered the bell. Here opens a double murder mystery in which Crook acts in the defence of a young prisoner on the run, whose guilt appears evident. 'The usual gusto, racy prose, good plotting and up-to-the-minute social observation' Sunday Times

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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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The Man in Button Boots

Anthony Gilbert
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'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday ExpressWhen Julian Marks, a well-known diamond merchant, is found murdered at the Hotel Fantastique in Monte Carlo, the motive is presumed to be theft. Marks always carried with him an enormous diamond on a steel chain.Guests have noticed a shady character in button boots staying at the hotel. But when the diamond is found in an unexpected place, French sleuth M Dupuy has to rethink his investigation. Could the mystery man now lead him to the culprit?

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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