Angel with Two Faces

Nicola Upson, Harper, $13.99 paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-145157-7

No classic detective fiction aficionado will want to miss Upson’s compelling sequel to 2008’s An Expert in Murder, which introduced mystery author Josephine Tey (1896–1952) as sleuth. In 1935, Tey’s close friend, Scotland Yard Inspector Archie Penrose, has returned on holiday to Cornwall, his childhood home, where he ends up attending the funeral of estate worker Harry Pinching, who drowned in Loe Pool, rumored to take a life every seven years. Most locals believe Pinching’s death was an accident, but Penrose and Tey, who joins the inspector in Cornwall, soon pick up on ominous undercurrents in the community that suggest otherwise. As the pair attempt to uncover the truth, Penrose witnesses another death that’s unquestionably murder. The subtle prose succeeds both at evoking the quiet splendor of the Cornish landscape and in capturing the tragedy and torment that plague many of the characters. The psychological sophistication will resonate with Charles Todd fans. (July)
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