A Bespoke Murder
1915. The first book in the Home Front Detective series begins with the sinking of the Lusitania. In its wake, crowds storm into the West End to attack premises owned by German proprietors.
Jacob Stein is a renowned tailor. His shop is set ablaze, his daughter is raped and he is murdered. Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy find that they have to cope with a number of related crimes as well. To apprehend the rapists, they have to cross the Channel to reach the western front. The killer proves to be much more elusive.
"Once again Marston has created a credible atmosphere within an intriguing story." Sunday Telegraph
Instrument of Slaughter
1916. The second book in the Home Front Detective series features Cyril Ablatt, a young conscientious objector who refuses to join the army. After making a rousing speech at a mass meeting ("I refuse to be an instrument of slaughter in a khaki uniform…"), he is bludgeoned to death.
Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy are assigned to the case. The crime arouses little public sympathy and Ablatt's friends fear that they, too, are in danger. When there's another murderous attack in the same part of London, the press is highly critical of Scotland Yard.
Inspector Marmion is not convinced that both attacks are the work of the same person. Nor does he believe that Ablatt is the saint described by his family and friends.
"Abrim with heroism, tenderness, chicanery and suspense, while crisply evoking a vivid picture of the era" Kirkus Reviews
Five Dead Canaries
The latest outing for the Home Front Detective starts with six canaries - female munition workers whose job makes their skin go yellow - adjourning to a pub to celebrate the birthday of one of their number. They adjourn to an outbuilding at the Golden Goose.
Maureen Quinn, a pretty young Irish girl, feels unwell and leaves. The party continues but is soon interrupted by a bomb blast. All five women are killed.
Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy take over the investigation and it leads them into a series of unforeseen dangers.
Kindle Edition, October 2014
Deeds of Darkness
The fourth book in the Home Front Detective series confronts Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy with a case that tests all their abilities.
During a Charlie Chaplin film, a young woman is strangled to death in a cinema. It emerges that her husband is away in the army. The detectives wonder why the killer took the risk of committing a murder in such a public place. They make slow progress at first then the crime is pushed off the front pages of the newspapers by the start of the battle of the Somme.
Because his son is involved, Marmion has a special interest in events in France but his attention is quickly brought back to London when a second murder occurs. A young art student is found dead in a public park and there are clear indications that she's the victim of the same killer. Where will he strike next?
Hardcover, December 2014
Kindle Edition, October 2014
Dance of Death
The fifth book in the Home Front Detective series confronts Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy with their most baffling case.
In the small hours of the morning, Simon Wilder slips out of a house and walks jauntily in the direction of his home. It takes him a few seconds to realise that a Zeppelin raid is taking place and that several people have come out of their houses to look up at the sky. Hearing the drone overhead, Wilder gazes upwards. When a Zeppelin suddenly bursts into flame, shot down by a British plane, there is a concerted cheer then people break into patriotic song.
Wilder is unable to join in because he has been stabbed to death.
Assigned to the case, Marmion and Keedy learn that Wilder is a brilliant dancer who ran a well-attended Dance Studio. Women formed the majority of those who had private lessons from him so jealous husbands are potential suspects. There are many others. Wilder seems to have had a gift for creating enemies. The detectives have to trawl through a large number of them - and face grave danger in the process - before they can begin to track down the killer, and they are hampered at every stage by severe friction on the domestic front. The dance of death proves to be a hazardous one.
Hardcover, October 2015
Kindle Edition, October 2015