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Payment in Blood


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About the Author

Elizabeth George's first novel, A Great Deliverance, was honored with the Anthony and Agatha Best First Novel Awards and received the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere. Her third novel, Well-Schooled in Murder, was awarded the prestigious German prize for suspense fiction, the MIMI. A Suitable Vengeance, For the Sake of Elena, Missing Joseph, Playing for the Ashes, In the Presence of the Enemy, Deception on His Mind, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, A Traitor to Memory, and I, Richard were international bestsellers. Elizabeth George divides her time between Huntington Beach, California, and London. Her novels are currently being dramatized by the BBC.


Placing her own stamp on the traditions of Dorothy Sayers and P. D. James, George ( A Great Deliverance ) supports her vividly characterized story of murder and espionage with elements of theatrical life, British class-consciousness and love gone awry. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, eighth Earl of Asherton, is sent to Scotland to investigate the murder of playwright Joy Sinclair. Her death had occurred as a company of stage greats, gathered by eminent producer Stuart Rintoul, Lord Stinhurst, was reading through the revised script of her latest play. Lynley's disquiet at being assigned to a case in Scotland is exacerbated when he discovers that his close friend, Lady Helen Clyde, was also on hand, in the company of director Rhys Davis-Jones. Learning that the revised play touched on secrets that nearly all the assembled cast might consider deserving of murder, Lynley struggles to balance peer loyalty and his personal anguish with objective police work. Assisted by fiercely egalitarian Sergeant Barbara Havers and by forensics expert and friend Simon St. James, Lynley forges through a thicket of deceptions, personal and nation-wide, to solve the mysteries of the first murder and one that follows, though not the mysteries of his heart. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. (Sept.)

The much acclaimed author of A Great Deliverance delivers her challenging second novel--a literate, vastly detailed, and intricately characterized piece which progresses from a frigid Scottish manor house/hotel to a swarming, theatrical London. Scotland Yard's Thomas Lynley (series detective and Earl of Asherton), unexpectedly assigned to a gory stabbing murder, uncovers deeply hidden family secrets and various psychological convolutions among suspects, but allows personal jealously to color his choice of prime suspect. A bit mechanical in places, and slow-moving in others, but steadily absorbing and masterful overall. The upcoming author tour should boost demand --especially from readers of George's first.

"Satisfying indeed. Novelist Elizabeth George...has another hit on her hands."--"Washington Post""A vivid cast of suspects, an appealing team of sleuths...a country-house setting that will put readers in mind of the best of Agatha Christie. For fans of this type of puzzle, Payment in Blood is a must."--"Plain Dealer, " Cleveland"A spectacular new voice in mystery writing...[George] invites comparison with both P.D. James and Ruth Rendell in the psychological interest of her characters and the intricacy and ingenuity of her plotting."--"Los Angeles Times""Complex, rich, and accomplished enough to elbow the author between P.D. James and Ruth Rendell."--"Kirkus Reviews"

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