cover image Gallows Court

Gallows Court

Martin Edwards. Poisoned Pen, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-4926-9928-6

In this exceptional series launch from Edgar–winner Edwards (Dancing for the Hangman) set in 1930 London, ambitious tabloid journalist Jacob Flint is hoping to make a name for himself by interviewing Rachel Savernake, a judge’s daughter, whose amateur detecting solved a murder that baffled Scotland Yard. Rachel had identified Claude Linacre, a prominent politician’s brother, as the killer shortly before Linacre fatally poisoned himself. After Rachel rebuffs Jacob’s inquiries about the Linacre case, she persuades a terminally ill banker and philanthropist to write a confession that he strangled and dismembered a nurse—and then shoot himself. Entries from an 11-year-old journal, written by someone whose role is initially unclear, accuse Rachel of being a murderer. More bloodshed follows as Jacob tries to figure out Rachel’s motives and culpability. The labyrinthine plot is one of Edwards’s best, and he does a masterly job of maintaining suspense, besides getting the reader to invest in the fate of the two main characters. Fans of Edgar Wallace’s classic Four Just Men won’t want to miss this one. (Sept.)