cover image The Midnight Hour

The Midnight Hour

Elly Griffiths. Mariner, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-358-41863-4

In Edgar winner Griffiths's intricate sixth Brighton mystery (after 2019's Now You See Them), police constable Meg Connolly, Det. Insp. Bob Willis, and PIs Emma Holmes and Sam Collins look into the poisoning of theatrical impresario Bert Billington in Rottingdean, Sussex, in September 1965. Finding a long history of serial affairs and abuses of power, they also encounter hints that Billington's murder may be connected to the deaths of two performers and a child. Possible suspects include Billington's widow, Verity Malone, and his sons; actor Max Mephisto, who had an affair with Verity; Eric Prentice, who was a musical performer in variety; and Alma Saunders, who served as Verity's dresser when Verity was a music hall star. An additional death and mysterious figures seen in a graveyard and at murder locales add complications. Sober themes on the oppression of women and the achievement of justice even after many years provide a touching complexity. Griffiths fans and new readers alike will enjoy their time with the Brighton mysteries crowd. Agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Dec.)