This Saturday, the 15th of May, I’ll be being interviewed by Kate Jackson, of Cross Examining Crime and the Coffee and Crime Book subscription service at the Bodies From The Library online conference about – what else – all things Brian Flynn. Regular readers of the blog will know full well who I’m talking about, and if you’ve just dropped by for this post, well, I guess you know who he is too, given it’s unlikely you’ll have found this page unless you searched for his name.
But just in case, to be very brief, Brian Flynn wrote 53 Anthony Bathurst mysteries (along with four other books) and then vanished without trace until yours truly rediscovered his work and through stubbornness, more than anything else, have helped get the first twenty of his books reprinted. You can read about my adventures with publishing here (for books 1 to 10) and here (for books 11 to 20). So as a taster for Saturday (or a replacement if you’re not going to be there – it’s sold out, I’m afraid), I thought I’d give you a little teaser. The covers, titles and release date are currently on Amazon but nothing else, they’re just place holders. So to give you a little taste for what to expect on 6th September 2021, here’s my little preview of those titles.
21 – Cold Evil
Six men gathered in the vicarage of St Crayle to swap ghost stories, but the tale told by Martin Burke chills them to the bone. When he was in India, he saw three men die of fright when a chimera appeared out of nowhere. It vanished, leaving only a small red mark behind the ears of its victims. The story is dismissed as just that – a story – but things change when one of the six never makes it home that evening. Days later his body is found on the moor, frozen to death – with a strange red mark behind his ear…
22 – The Ebony Stag
Robert Forsyth, a 73-year-old retired rate collector, was found dead in his house. He had been stabbed by an unknown weapon and his face badly damaged. And next to the body was a small ebony stag that had been, quite deliberately, smashed to pieces.
Anthony Bathurst is recruited by Scotland Yard to investigate, undercover, but “Mr Lotherington” soon discovers a problem. Forsyth was clearly identified, but it seems that somehow, since he moved to the area, his teeth seem to have grown back…
23 – Black Edged
It was drawing the so-called Curse Of Scotland – the nine of diamonds – that caused Madeleine Traquair’s death at the hands of her husband. Dr Stuart Traquair is soon on the run, with Anthony Bathurst hot on his heels. Traquair is a wily opponent, however, and Bathurst finds his prey seems to always be one step ahead of him.
When another body appears, it seems that Bathurst is in a race against time to catch Traquair, but becomes apparent that things may not be exactly as they seem to be…
24 – The Case Of The Faithful Heart
The dinner party seemed to pass without any major incidents, but the next morning Jacqueline Hillier was found in the driveway, sitting in her car, dying of an overdose of chloral hydrate. No one knew why she had left the house or why her clothes were dirty and torn – and no one could explain why, after her funeral, her grave was covered in a mass of violets.
Anthony Bathurst, visiting the area, finds himself intrigued by the mystery, but for once finds himself outside of the police investigation. He will need to act fast, though, as death is far from finished with the Hillier family.
25 – The Case Of The Painted Ladies
“I cannot tell you of your future – because there is no future for you.”
Three incidents happened to Aubrey Coventry on his last day on Earth. The multi-millionaire Silas Montgomery asked for a business meeting – at 2 am in the morning. Madame Zylphara, a fortune teller, says that he has no future. And a strange man in blue dungaree suit responds to the simple request of a light with a diabolical snarl for no reason whatsoever.
When Coventry is found dead in his office, Anthony Bathurst and company begin to search for the snarling man, a man seen more than once in the vicinity of Coventry. But Coventry’s death seems to be a motiveless crime…
26 – They Never Came Back
Anthony Bathurst took pity on Flora Donovan when she asked him to find her husband. “Lefty” Donovan was a boxer of some repute, but left after receiving a mysterious letter which contained an offer too good to refuse.
When Donovan’s body is found, with his face and chest seemingly sliced by claws, Bathurst is determined to find whoever – or whatever – killed him. But when he hears of another boxer who died in the same way only a few weeks before, it is clear that this is more than an isolated incident. When a third fighter goes missing, it is a race against time to find the truth and save a life…
27 – Such Bright Disguises
Hubert Grant was misguided on many things. He thought he was the life and soul of any party. He thought he was an hilarious raconteur and should always be the centre of attention. And he also thought he was happily married.
Dorothy Grant was in love, not with her husband, but with Laurence Weston but it seems the only way to be happy together was if Hubert was out of the way – permanently. But the best laid plans often go astray and when the plotting is over, there will be more than one body. And this time, Anthony Bathurst will not be able to do a thing about it.
28 – Glittering Prizes
It began with a test. Mrs Warren Clinton, a lady of immense resources, recruited nine people to the Royal Sceptre Hotel, to see which of them had the capability to help her with her plan to save the British Empire. After a cryptic puzzle and an interview, two are chosen, but the next day, those two are found lying naked in a bed, shot in the head. And Mrs Clinton has disappeared.
As threats are delivered to the remaining seven, threatening them with death if they talk to the police, it seems that the evil spreading across Europe has found its way to British shores already.
29 – Reverse The Charges
“Anyone of us may be the next victim because killers of this particular brand are no respecters of person. Pleasant prospect, isn’t it?”
A man has been found dead in the village of Mallett, killed by the burns caused when hot cinders where dropped down the back of his clothes. And that is just the beginning – another man dies from cyanide-laced fish and another is drowned in a water-barrel.
The police think a homicidal maniac is stalking the streets, but Anthony Bathurst thinks differently. Someone is working to a dark and sinister scheme, but can they be stopped before their plan comes to fruition.
30 – The Grim Maiden
Richard Arbuthnot thought a crime was about to be committed. For weeks he had watched a man share his train carriage every morning, always carrying, but never reading the same book. When his suspicions became too much, he bumped into the man, causing him to drop the book but also to threaten Arbuthnot with a knife.
How does this incident tie into the disappearance of an artist in the same town? Anthony Bathurst is convinced they are linked, so he takes one case while Inspector MacMorran takes the other. But the cases will soon dovetail together as Bathurst faces his more terrifying opponent to date.
Glad to see that Flynn continues to be wonderfully bizarre in the next set of ten mysteries to be reprinted.
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The motive in They Never Came Back has to be seen to be believed… really pleased how much fun this ten are, given I’d not read six of them until a couple of weeks ago.
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You’ve certainly had a good Flynn binge!
I know, it’s like I’m on a sugar high at the moment. But after The Grim Maiden, only three left to read…😢