The Gaslight Mysteries Summer of Secrets

SUMMER OF SECRETS: Cora Harrison talks to Crime Time

Cora Harrison talks to Crime Time:-

Crime Time: Summer of Secrets

This book is inspired by my interest, not just in Charles Dickens and his friends, but also in Ellen Ternan whose name is so connected with his. So, who was Ellen Ternan? A huge majority of the English-speaking population of the world would probably say that she was an actress who became Charles Dickens’ mistress, but I am convinced that she was not his mistress, but his daughter.

Oddly, I originally came to this opinion from what one might call the internal evidence. I was rereading A Tale of Two Cities and for the first time was suddenly struck by the enormous force of the emotion in the scenes where an adult daughter and father meet for the first time. And Lucy in A Tale of Two Cities was physically almost the exact image of Ellen Ternan: ‘A short, slight, pretty figure, a quantity of golden hair, a puzzled expression and a pair of blue eyes . . .’

Dickens, I’ve always felt, writes poorly about love between a man and a woman – Lucy’s relationship with Charles Darnay is cardboard sentimentality – but he writes with great intensity about this relationship of a father and newly-found daughter. Dickens, himself, states that the idea of writing A Tale of Two Cities came to him in 1857 which was the year when he first took over the role of protector of the Ternan family, Mrs Frances Ternan and her three girls, Fanny, Maria and Ellen.

‘Young enough to be his daughter’ say various reproving voices of biographers.

But could Ellen Ternan, in fact, be his daughter? Do dates make it possible, or even feasible?

Ellen was the youngest of three children. Her mother, Frances, married Thomas Ternan in 1834 but he died of syphilis in 1846. The link between Frances Ternan and Dickens was an actor called Macready. He was one of Dickens’ best friends and a very good friend and patron of Frances Ternan who had acted with Macready since her earliest years playing opposite to him in many Shakespearean plays – Ophelia to his Hamlet when she was younger and then Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother in the same play many years later.

In May 1837 Catherine Dickens suffered a miscarriage after the tragic and sudden death of her seventeen-year-old sister, Mary Hogarth. Dickens took his wife to Broadstairs seaside to recuperate but he himself travelled up and down to London, staying overnight in order to visit the theatre and see his friend Macready. He would certainly have met Frances Ternan at that time.

The following January Dickens resolved to keep a diary. He went to Yorkshire to investigate schools and began to write Nicholas Nickleby, which is suffused with a sense of theatre throughout. The Crummles theatrical family, along with that memorable character ‘The Infant Phenomenon’ (the two elder Ternan girls had been on the stage since the age of two), has now become a household name, but it probably shows the influence that the Ternan family had upon him. Dickens writes in his diary about attending a banquet in honour of the actor Macready and it is very likely that the Ternans were there, also. The interesting thing is that three pages have been torn out of this diary in January 1838. Could it have been something about Frances Ternan, which in view of later events, he decided to get rid of?

Ellen Lawless Ternan was born in March 1839, so where was Dickens nine months earlier, in June 1838? On 6 March 1838 Catherine, Mrs Dickens, gave birth to her second child Mamie and was plunged for months into that condition of physical debility and post-natal depression which had afflicted her after the birth of her first child, Charley.

This was possibly a time when Dickens, as a very vital and active young man, could potentially stray. Mrs Dickens was recuperating in the countryside in Twickenham where Dickens spent all his weekends, but he was up and down to the city of London on an almost daily basis. There are many recorded meetings with the actor Macready during the next few months and doubtless there would have been opportunities to meet Frances Ternan, a gifted actress from early childhood and an extremely beautiful woman, married to a bad-tempered, untalented failure of a man, who was now ill with syphilis. Dickens was an obsessive theatre fan, went two or three times a week. During that winter, in Drury Lane Theatre, Mrs Ternan had played Desdemona to the famous Kean’s Othello, while her husband played Iago – to extremely poor reviews. Dickens undoubtedly saw these performances and would have been sorry for Frances Ternan.

On 29 October 1839 Kate Macready Dickens was born, six months after the birth of Ellen. Portraits, I feel, show a resemblance between them, especially the ears and the nose. Kate was supposed physically and otherwise to resemble her father more than any of his other children.

In 1846 Thomas Ternan died of syphilis when Ellen was only six. He had been confined to a hospital for the insane for many years previously.

In 1857 Ellen Lawless Ternan was eighteen when she and her sister played parts, with Dickens, in the play The Frozen Deep which took place at the end of August 1857. At the end of the performance, Dickens gave Ellen Ternan a piece of jewellery – a brooch or bracelet. This came to Mrs Dickens’ notice and there was a huge row. Kate Dickens said her father ordered his wife to see Mrs Ternan – and this is odd, because it almost appears as though Dickens wants to make recompense to Mrs Ternan as well as to care for Ellen Ternan and to take her from the life on the stage which she hated.

In May 1858 Dickens decided to separate from his wife. He was an emotional man, but his fits of fury at the imputation that he was having an affair with Ellen Ternan seem excessive – if she were really his mistress. However, if she were his daughter, this would be more understandable, would make his almost hysterical behaviour much more reasonable. In my opinion, he behaved like a man who has been much wronged.

In 1858 Dickens set Ellen Ternan up in an establishment with her mother. It is now that he began writing A Tale of Two Cities – a story about a father and daughter who meet for the first time when the daughter is eighteen years old. Later he took a house for Ellen and her mother, in Slough and then in France. At the railway crash at Staplehurst, both Mrs Ternan and Ellen were present. In fact, right through the Dickens and Ellen years, Mrs Ternan appears to have been a constant presence.

In 1859 A Tale of Two Cities was published. It is a rather over-sentimentalized portrait of fatherly and daughterly love where the heroine bears a strong physical resemblance to Ellen Ternan.

Interestingly, it appears as if several people were in on the secret of the relationship. To one lady friend (a highly respectable Victorian lady, according to the biographer Peter Ackroyd) Dickens wrote that ‘Nelly would be distressed and embarrassed if she knew that you knew the secret of her history’. (NB not her position – her history. I think there is a significant difference.) Another lady, Mrs Fields – an extremely strait-laced American lady – wrote rhapsodically to Dickens about how he was going to see his beloved. (She was unlikely to refer to a mistress in those terms). She also hoped that despite ‘mistakes that he had made in the past’ (perhaps having an affair as a young man) that he would now be happy.

One of things that struck me, and partially led me to this conclusion, was that Peter Ackroyd, a meticulous and tireless biographer, was totally puzzled about the relationship that Dickens had with Ellen Ternan and eventually came to the conclusion that it was a non-consummated relationship – something he deemed as very odd! Interestingly enough, he didn’t take that sideways step, which I have taken; less odd, I think, than the guess that a highly sexed man like Dickens would live with a pretty young girl in a ‘non-consummated’ relationship.

No, I think Dickens was the father, not the lover, of Ellen Ternan, and didn’t want to destroy his relationship with his public (and Queen Victoria) by confessing to the affair with an actress. He also didn’t want to attract shame on to Mrs Ternan, but otherwise wanted to make it up to his illegitimate daughter. It is somewhat overlooked, I feel, that in making provision for Ellen, he also cared for Mrs Ternan.

I am fairly sure that he confided the secret to his sister-in-law, Georgina and to his daughters, Kate and Mamie before he died. They summoned Ellen to his deathbed. Afterwards they were very friendly with Ellen Ternan who went on to make a good marriage with a clergyman. She had children with him, although she was then in her late thirties which makes one wonder why, if she were Dickens’ mistress, she did not have children by him. Despite much research no one has ever found any evidence that there was a child.

Henry Dickens, Dickens’ youngest son, had children who went to a birthday party held for Ellen’s children, which, once again, makes me think that the Dickens family all knew of the relationship. All that nonsense about Kate saying that there was a child and it died is just hearsay. It was quoted ten years after Kate’s death by a friend, an elderly woman (suffering from the early stages of dementia), who wrote, with the help of a journalist, a book called Dickens and Daughter and perhaps wanted to beef it up; probably she knew nothing as Dickens’ children and sister-in-law guarded his reputation with great care. Moreover, a scandal may have injured the huge sales of his books in this Victorian era.

Of course, no one will ever know for sure, but I do think that it is feasible that Dickens was Ellen Ternan’s father.

I would be so interested to know what others think of that and would love to hear from you on my website:

SUMMER OF SECRETS by Cora Harrison is published by Severn House

The Gaslight Mysteries


Introducing Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as an unusual detective duo in a brand-new Victorian mystery series.

Charles Dickens by Ary Scheffer, oil on canvas, 1855, NPG 315, © National Portrait Gallery, London, Licence Creative Commons

Picture credit: left, Charles Dickens, portrait by Ary Scheffer, oil on canvas, 1855, NPG 315, © National Portrait Gallery, London, licence: Creative Commons.

On the right: Wilkie Collins, portrait by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt, oil on panel, 1850, NPG 967, ©National Portrait Gallery, London, licence: Creative Commons

Wilkie Collins by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt, oil on panel, 1850, NPG 967, 
© National Portrait Gallery, London, licence 
 by Creative Commons

Cora Harrison writes:

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and Wilkie Collins in 1824 and so there was twelve years difference between them.

That was not all, though. Dickens had a very different upbringing. He was the son of a ne’er-do-well spendthrift who landed himself in a debtors’ prison and condemned his son to years of working in a blacking factory whereas Wilkie was the son of a prosperous artist and was deeply loved and much indulged by both parents.

Nevertheless, when they met in 1851 they were drawn together by their shared love of amateur dramatics and Charles Dickens became a great influence in Wilkie Collins life, advising him on his literary ambitions, providing him with a job and a salary and much valuable experience while working on a journal edited by Dickens.

On his side, Dickens got great pleasure from the lively humorous young Wilkie Collins. They went on holidays together on the continent and Collins was invited to Dickens holiday home in Broadstairs by the sea in Kent.

But it was the long walks that the two took through the length and breadth of London by night that cemented the friendship and it was these long walks through the gas lighted streets which inspired my own imagination to invent some mysteries which might have been solved by these two friends.

The first mystery is set by the Thames and involves the murder of a girl whom Dickens had known when he was involved in the charitable enterprise to rescue young prostitutes newly released from prison and educate them to befit them for a new life in Australia.

The second mystery deals with the artists of the period. The Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, friends of both men, and the third will deal with one of Dickens amateur dramatics set in the magnificent of castle of the well-known Lord Edwin Bulwer-Lytton.

Cora Harrison

Note: the success of the series has prompted further books.

View reviews and books in the series

Murder in the Mist The Gaslight Mysteries

Murder in the Mist

Tis the season of goodwill, and Dickens extends the hand of friendship to a stranded stranger and his nephews for Christmas, with deadly consequences . . .

“The ingenious solution to the mystery makes this the series’ best entry yet. Victorian whodunit fans are in for a treat” Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Wilkie Collins is looking forward to spending Christmas at Gads Hill, Charles Dickens’ Kentish country home, but the festivities are cut short when a body is found on the snowy marshland. Timmy O’Connor was invited to the gathering with his four nephews after a chance encounter with Dickens, but is now dead.

Dickens is convinced the murderer is one of the convicts from a nearby prison ship, but Collins is not so sure. Who was this mysterious and unpleasant stranger from Cork who turned Christmas cheer to fear? With the convicts, guests and even Timmy’s nephews under suspicion, there is no shortage of suspects for such a violent act, but which one of them is a cold-blooded killer?

Read the starred review from Publishers Weekly

Murder in the Mist The Gaslight Mysteries

Murder in the Mist review

Publishers Review


With the excellent fifth outing for amateur detectives Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins (after 2021’s Spring of Hope), Harrison approaches the level of ingenuity that’s been a hallmark of her Reverend Mother and Burren series.

Collins, who feels his best-known works have been eclipsed by Dickens’s literary success, is still delighted to get an invitation to spend Christmas with the Tale of Two Cities author’s family at their country home in Kent.

The other guests include Timmy O’Connor, an Irish raconteur whom Dickens met in Cork on a recent reading tour, and three of O’Connor’s nephews.

Collins’s hopes for a stress-free holiday are dashed when a guest is found beaten to death near the local church.

The violent nature of the murder leads Dickens to suspect the killer is a convict from the prison ship docked near his home, but Collins wonders if a less obvious suspect is responsible for the fatal bludgeoning. He eventually turns the inquiry toward Dickens’s guests.

Harrison never lets her cheeky premise distract from her heroes’ exhilarating detective work, and the ingenious solution to the mystery makes this the series’ best entry yet.

Victorian whodunit fans are in for a treat.

Cora Harrison. Severn House, $31.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4483-1134-7

Reverend Mother series

The Deadly Weed

by Cora Harrison

1920s. Cork, Ireland. Early one morning the Reverend Mother receives news of a deadly fire at the local cigarette factory, a place where she’d been so proud that some of her pupils had been given a steady job. In a city full of poverty, unemployment and political unrest, these ex pupils of hers had surely been blessed with such prospects. Now, though, she is worried . . . What happened at the cigarette factory and why are there rumours circulating that one of her ‘girls’ was responsible?

Inspector Patrick Cashman is under pressure to quickly find the cause of the fire – and identify a suspect – to placate the visiting Lord Mayor and Commissioner and secure his hopes of promotion. Patrick turns to his friend, the journalist and law student Eileen MacSweeney, for help, along with the ever insightful and calm Reverend Mother. From the fog-ridden streets of the slums to the green pastures and prosperity of nearby Youghal, together they begin to unravel a seedy history of greed, ambition and a desire for power.

Review from Publishers Weekly

“A fire at a Cork cigarette factory owned by the Reverend Mother Aquinas’s cousin Robert Murphy sparks Harrison’s stellar 10th 1920s Irish mystery featuring the insightful religious sleuth (after 2022’s Murder in the Cathedral).

“Murphy gave jobs to 10 girls in the school the Reverend Mother oversees, largesse she welcomed as a means for the impoverished children to earn something for their families.

“The fire’s one fatality is Timothy Dooley, the plant’s manager, who had drunk himself into unconsciousness and died of smoke inhalation. Though there were no obvious signs of arson, a witness claims that one of the girls, Maureen McCarthy, stayed behind after her colleagues had left the factory and started the conflagration.

“As Insp. Patrick Cashman investigates, he finds Maureen uncooperative and hostile, and learns that Dooley was once accused of rape. That discovery leads him to expand his circle of suspects to include the rape victim’s father.

“Aided by the Reverend Mother, who rivals Jane Marple in her astute observations of human nature, the inspector narrows in on the truth. A fair-play puzzle matches a vivid evocation of the past. Harrison is writing at the top of her game.”

Publishers Weekly

Reverend Mother series

Murder in the Cathedral 

by Cora Harrison

The Reverend Mother’s investigative skills are called into action again when one of her young pupils is found murdered at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.

1920s. Cork, Ireland. The Reverend Mother’s Christmas Day festivities are shattered when the protestant bishop of Cork arrives at the convent with terrible news: one of the Reverend Mother’s pupils, the troublesome seven-year-old Edna O’Sullivan, has been found murdered in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral. Furthermore, the cathedral’s archdeacon, Dr Hearn, is also dead after succumbing to a suspected heart attack in the middle of a service.

When it is revealed that both Edna and the archdeacon were poisoned, the Reverend Mother is drawn into another puzzling mystery. Was the boy used as part of an elaborate plot to murder the archdeacon? And if so, why was he willing to risk his life to do so? As she investigates, the Reverend Mother makes a series of disturbing and intriguing discoveries. Can she uncover the truth behind these heinous crimes?

Review from Publishers Weekly


“Set in the late 1920s, Harrison’s outstanding ninth whodunit featuring the Reverend Mother Aquinas (after 2021’s Murder in an Orchard Cemetery) opens with an unexpected visit from Dr. Thompson, the bishop of Cork’s Anglican Church of Ireland.

“Thompson reports that one of the Reverend Mother’s pupils, seven-year-old Enda O’Sullivan, has died. Someone poisoned the communion wine at the Protestant cathedral with cyanide, killing its archdeacon, Dr. Hearn.

“According to the bishop, the Reverend Mother’s ally on the force, Insp. Patrick Cashman, believes that the murderer bribed Enda to put the cyanide in the archdeacon’s cup by giving the boy some chocolates injected with the poison to cover up his crime.

“Given Hearn’s wide unpopularity, the Reverend Mother and the inspector have plenty of suspects to consider in their probe.

“Harrison does a masterly job combining plot and characterization and resolves the puzzle satisfactorily, but the book’s real strength is her heartfelt evocation of the lives of Cork’s impoverished citizens and the Reverend Mother’s dedication to helping them.

This series ranks near the top among mysteries with a religious lead.

– Publishers Weekly

Review from Kirkus Reviews

A Reverend Mother, a police officer, a newspaper reporter, and a Jewish doctor extend their long, successful record of solving crimes in Cork in the 1920s.

“Reverend Mother Aquinas has seen the worst of humanity, and nothing surprises her. But the Christmas double murder of an archdeacon of the Anglican Church of Ireland along with one of her most troublesome and downtrodden students makes her very angry indeed. Bishop Thompson comes himself to inform her that Dr. Scher, the police surgeon, thinks that both 7-year-old Enda O’Sullivan and the archdeacon were poisoned.

“Inspector Patrick Cashman and journalist and law student Eileen MacSwiney, two of the Reverend Mother’s most accomplished and beloved students involved in the case, rely on her wisdom to help solve a horrible crime with political implications. Apparently someone had tricked Enda into climbing into the cathedral, putting poison into a chalice, and then eating poisoned candy.

“Though the mischievous Enda had the voice of an angel, neither he nor his mother was popular in the Catholic community, and the Reverend Mother has to use all her influence to arrange a proper funeral. Patrick quickly learns that the archdeacon was disliked by a great many people for a great many reasons but wonders whether any of them are serious enough to kill for.

“Even in an Ireland free of England, members of the old guard still occupy many of the top positions. As a Catholic, Patrick relies on his Protestant assistant for insight. In the end, Dr. Scher’s knowledge of antique silver gives the Reverend Mother the answer.

Plenty of suspects dramatizing Ireland’s religious differences provide an excellent character-driven mystery.

– Kirkus Reviews

Spring of Hope The Gaslight Mysteries

Booklist review of Spring of Hope

Cleverly plotted, deftly written, with vivid characters, rich period ambience, and gentle humor, Harrison’s latest is sure to please fans of historical mysteries.


Harrison again pairs Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as amateur sleuths (following Summer of Secrets, 2021).

London is recovering from the 1858 “Summer of the Great Stink,” which has resulted from human waste flowing into the Thames. The government is determined to find a solution, with the pollution growing deadlier with each passing month.

A prize is established for the scientist who can solve the problem, and the competition is fierce. Collins is heading home one night when he hears a woman’s screams coming from a nearby house.

Without thinking, he breaks into the house and rescues the woman and her little girl. When he learns their lives are in danger, he takes them to his home to keep them safe. The woman is terrified but refuses to tell Collins why.

It’s only after a terrible accident at a demonstration of one scientist’s plan to stop the stink that Collins and Dickens begin to comprehend the truth behind the byzantine story.

Cleverly plotted, deftly written, with vivid characters, rich period ambience, and gentle humor, Harrison’s latest is sure to please fans of historical mysteries.

— Emily Melton


The Gaslight Mysteries

Spring of Hope The Gaslight Mysteries

Spring of Hope – Kirkus Reviews

A period mystery bolstered by an exciting mix of imagination and historical truth

Another case for those eminent Victorian sleuths Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, last seen in Summer of Secrets (2021).

Spring 1859 finds a group of engineers striving to solve the problems of the previous summer, when the River Thames was so overwhelmed with effluent from London that thousands died of cholera and Members of Parliament had to hold their noses as they met.

The queen is offering a cash prize and knighthood to the person who can solve the problem, and Dickens, who’s befriended young engineer Joseph Bazalgette, is eager to help. Collins creates his own mystery when a woman’s fearful screams move him to rescue her and her child from a locked house.

He’s delighted when Caroline, an excellent cook, and her pretty and intelligent daughter, now called Carrie, move into his home, and he soon starts spoiling Carrie, even taking her with him on expeditions to view the engineers’ varied plans to solve the sewage problem.

When he hosts a dinner party for men interested in the problem, Caroline, still terrified of her mysterious former captor, overhears a voice that sends her into a frenzy of fear.

A shocking, seemingly accidental death during a demonstration at Bazalgette’s workshop sends Collins and Dickens on a hunt for a killer even though Collins secretly fears that Carrie may be involved.

A period mystery bolstered by an exciting mix of imagination and historical truth.

Spring of Hope The Gaslight Mysteries

Spring of Hope starred review by Publishers’ Weekly

Victorian whodunits don’t get much better than this.

The prologue of Harrison’s superior fourth Gaslight mystery teaming novelists Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens (after 2021’s Summer of Secrets), a melancholy letter written by Collins on his deathbed in 1889, sets the stage for flashbacks to 1859.

In the wake of the Great Stink of 1858, during which an overwhelmed London sewer system combined with a heat wave to create a persistent foul odour in the metropolis, civil engineer Joseph Bazalgette, a friend of Dickens, is tasked with addressing the problem.

But murder interferes, as Collins relates in his letter. During an exhibition of Bazalgette’s proposed solution at a gathering attended by notables who include MP Benjamin Disraeli, a man, unidentified in the prologue, is killed in an explosion that sends metal fragments flying.

Collins and Dickens, present at the gathering, come to believe the death was no accident and partner up to seek a murderer.

Amid clever plot twists, Harrison maintains suspense as the action builds up to the fatal explosion, leaving readers in suspense as to who is killed and why.

Collins and Dickens subsequently investigate.

Victorian whodunits don’t get much better than this. 

Publishers’ Weekly

Reverend Mother series

Murder In An Orchard Cemetery

1920s. Cork, Ireland. The Reverend Mother is not best pleased at the bishop’s decision to invite the five candidates for the position of Alderman of the City Council to join them for their annual retreat. Constantly accosted by ambitious, would-be politicians hoping to secure the bishop’s backing, she’s finding the week-long sojourn at the convent of the Sisters of Charity anything but peaceful. What she doesn’t expect to encounter is sudden, violent death.

When a body is discovered in the convent’s apple orchard cemetery, blown to pieces by a makeshift bomb, it is assumed the IRA is responsible. But does the killer lie closer to home? Was one of the candidates so desperate to win the election they turned to murder? Does someone have a hidden agenda? Once again, the Reverend Mother must call on her unrivalled investigative skills to unearth the shocking truth.

Reviews from:

Reverend Mother series

Death of a Prominent Citizen

The seventh book in the Reverend Mother Mystery series
A novel by Cora Harrison

This puzzle mystery is a sheer delight

I have read the six previous installments in this series and, from the outset, I must say that this is my favorite yet—the Reverend Mother plays Clue with her family!

Harrison’s seventh Reverend Mother whodunit stands out as her trickiest yet… Fans of historical puzzle mysteries will be delighted” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Money is the root of all evil, according to the Reverend Mother – but is it the motive for her cousin’s murder?

Wealthy widow Charlotte Hendrick had always promised that her riches would be divided equally between her seven closest relatives when she died. Now she has changed her mind and summoned her nearest and dearest, including her cousin, the Reverend Mother, to her substantial home on Bachelor’s Quay to inform them of her decision. As Mrs Hendrick’s relatives desperately make their case to retain a share of her wealth, riots break out on the quays outside as the flood waters rise …

The following morning, a body is discovered in the master bedroom, its throat cut. Could there be a connection to the riots of the night before – or does the killer lie closer to home? In her efforts to uncover the truth, the Reverend Mother unearths a tale of greed, cruelty, forbidden passion … and cold-blooded malice.

For more reviews click here

Reverend Mother series

Murder at the Queen’s Old Castle

Book six in the Reverend Mother series

Sparkling descriptions of life in 1920s Cork and fascinating historical details combine to ably support a clever plot and an intriguing cast — Booklist

A rare shopping trip for the Reverend Mother ends in brutal murder in this absorbing historical mystery.

Despite its regal name, the Queen’s Old Castle is nothing but a low-grade department store, housed within the decrepit walls of what was once a medieval castle, built at the harbour entrance to Cork city. On her first visit for fifty years, the Reverend Mother is struck by how little has changed – apart, that is, from the strange smell of gas … But when the store’s owner staggers from his office and topples over the railings to his death, Mother Aquinas is once again drawn into a baffling murder investigation where suspects are all too plentiful.

An unpopular man, Joseph Fitzwilliam had been disliked and feared by all who worked for him. And when the contents of his will are revealed, suspicion widens to include his own family.

“Harrison is at the top of her game… the fair-play puzzle is among her finest”Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Sparkling descriptions of life in 1920’s Cork and fascinating historical details combine to ably support a clever plot and an intriguing cast”Booklist

“This highly readable historical series is perfect for fans of authors who focus on a vivid locale such as Andrea Camilleri and Ann Cleeves”Library Journal