If You Remember The Sixties, You Weren’t There
So here’s the final cover artwork for the upcoming sixties-set Bryant & May mystery, entitled ‘Hall of Mirrors’, to be published on March 22 2018. TheÂ US is running a little behind UK, but I’m pleased to say that they’ll now sport similar covers. Hopefully we’ll get a full set of matching covers one day; it bothers me that there are so many different styles of B&M cover in America, and I would love to se matching editions (as would readers, judging by the correspondence I get).
I had a lot of fun with this book because it freed me from the constraints of writing consecutively. Also, being a recognised genre-within-a-genre (the country house murder) I could honour the traditional rules while playing around with them. This, then, is my Agatha Christie book – with a few unexpected twists.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the story…
In 1969, ten guests stay in an isolated country house, Tavistock Hall, for the weekend, but one of them is harbouring thoughts of murderâ€¦
Young detectives Bryant & May have been tasked with protecting Monty Hatton-Jones, a whistleblower turning Queenâ€™s evidence against an architect suspected of bribing officials.Â The pair are obliged to attend the house party disguised with false identities, so the scene is set for the perfect country house murder mystery â€“ except that it proves to be nothing like the ones in Golden Age novels. These are the dying days of the grand weekend, and now that the good times are coming to an end, the guests are betraying their desperationâ€¦
The mansion in question is owned by a penniless, dope-smoking Lord who has built a hippy encampment in the garden and is selling the estate to a secretive millionaire. Luckily, the detectives have a decent chap on the inside who can help them; one-armed Brigadier Nigel â€˜Fruityâ€™ Metcalf.
The weekend has just started when the millionaire goes missing and murder is on the cards. But army manoeuvres have closed the only road, and without a forensic examiner the detectives canâ€™t solve the case. When one of the guests is felled in what appears to be a freak accident, Bryant & May must place their future reputations on the line. In the process they discover that in â€˜swinging Britainâ€™ nothing is quite what it seemsâ€¦
You are cordially invited to a weekend in the country. Expect murder, madness and mayhem in the mansion. After this, Bryant & May will return to the present, but if ‘Hall Of Mirrors’ proves popular I’ll revisit the past again.
Speaking of sober consistency, here are the UK covers collected together. You’d never know there were five different artists, would you?