Rediscover Gladys Mitchell - one of the 'Big Three' female crime fiction writers alongside Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. When Rupert Sethleigh's body is found one morning, laid out in the village butcher shop but minus its head, the inhabitants of Wandles Parva aren't particularly upset. Sethleigh was a blackmailing money lender and when the peerless detective and renowned psycholanalyst Mrs Bradley begins her investigation she finds no shortage of suspects. It soon transpires that most of the village seem to have been wandering about Manor Woods, home of the mysterious druidic stone on which Sethleigh's blood is found splashed, on the night he was murdered but can she eliminate the red herrings and catch the real killer? Opinionated, unconventional, unafraid...If you like Poirot and Miss Marple, you'll love Mrs Bradley.
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Gladys Maude Winifred Mitchell - or 'The Great Gladys' as Philip Larkin called her - was born in 1901, in Cowley in Oxfordshire. She graduated in history from University College London and in 1921 began her long career as a teacher. Her hobbies included architecture and writing poetry. She studied the works of Sigmund Freud and her interest in witchcraft was encouraged by her friend, the detective novelist Helen Simpson. Her first novel, Speedy Death, was published in 1929 and introduced readers to Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley, the detective heroine of a further sixty six crime novels. She wrote at least one novel a year throughout her career and was an early member of the Detection Club, alongside Agatha Christie, G.K Chesterton and Dorothy Sayers.In 1961 she retired from teaching and, from her home in Dorset, continued to write, receiving the Crime Writers' Association Silver Dagger in 1976. Gladys Mitchell died in 1983.Review:
"Superbly odd" Independent "Crime writing's best-kept secret" Scotsman "Among the most revered names in British mystery fiction" Washington Post "The Great Gladys" Philip Larkin
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