Lion in the Cellar
By Pamela Branch
Prepare to be both chilled and diverted by 'The funniest lady you ever knew' Christianna Brand
Other than her Uncle George, Sukie was the only member of the notorious Heap family who was still at large. Her great-grandfather, who had invented a particularly nasty machine gun, was immortalised in wax at Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors. So was Sukie's grandmother, who one day had taken an axe and disposed of five of her neighbours. Sukie's mother later tried her hand at arson and was sent to a mental institution.
Sukie defiantly explained, as had her mother before her, that insanity did not run in the family. The Heaps were definitely being maligned. But, naturally, when Mr Bentley turned up dead with a bloody axe at his side, Sukie's husband figured she was at last taking up the family trade
'A charnel-house frolic' The Spectator
Pamela Branch was born on a tea estate in Sri Lanka. She was educated in England, studied art in Paris, and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Returning to the East, she lived for three years on a houseboat in Kashmir, and travelled extensively in Europe, India and the Middle East. According to her more famous contemporary Christianna Brand, she was 'the funniest lady you ever knew'; she adored practical jokes, of which she had a seemingly endless store, and the contemporary press lavishly praised her wit. The Sunday Times stated that 'even the bodies manage to be ghoulishly diverting' and the Times Literary Supplement compared her third novel, Murder Every Monday, to the work of Evelyn Waugh. She married twice, was, according to her friends, entertaining, glamorous, beautiful and charming, and the greatest mystery of her work is why it has not received more recognition since her untimely death from cancer at the age of forty-seven.
- Other details
- Publication date:
14 Aug 2013
- Page count:
The Murder Room