The Marx Sisters

Brock and Kolla Series

Book 1
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
2
Free sample

This first book in the Brock and Kolla Mystery series was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association’s John Creasey Award for best first mystery and met with wide acclaim. It introduced the team of Detective Chief Inspector David Brock and Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla, with Kathy a neophyte to Scotland Yard. And her first case was one for the books. Meredith Winterbottom, a great-granddaughter of Karl Marx and a longtime resident of Jerusalem Lane—a Dickensian section of London inhabited by Eastern European immigrants—is found dead in her apartment. Along with her two sisters and other Lane residents, she had been seeing red over a real estate developer’s plan to gentrify their neighborhood. Six months after Meredith’s death, a second sister is murdered. Are they victims of money-hungry developers or were they killed for the politics of another age? And why would David Brock, a notorious curmudgeon, assign himself to help Kathy on a relatively small case?

As Kathy and Brock delve into the Lane’s eccentric melting pot, they find unknown letters from Marx to Engels, a possible fourth volume of Das Kapital, a long list of suspects ranging from Meredith’s shady son to a Princeton professor and a Polish veteran of World War II—and a plot to make Kathy’s first case her last.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
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About the author

Barry Maitland was born in Scotland and raised in London. He was a professor of architecture and dean at the University of Newcastle in Australia, but relinquished the position to become a full-time writer. He has written twelve Brock and Kolla novels. He lives in Australia.
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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
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Published on
Apr 15, 2014
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781628723908
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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When the Daily Mirror called The Chalon Heads “one of the best-crafted, best-plotted, and most convincing British thrillers for decades,” you knew it had to be good. David Brock and Kathy Kolla are summoned to Cabot’s, a venerable dealer in rare stamps on the Strand, and at first they expect a simple case of theft and a pleasant digression from the usual sort of murderous wrongdoing they encounter in the Serious Crime Branch of Scotland Yard. But the case they confront is twistier and far more unsettling than they could have imagined.

An unsavory figure from Brock’s past, slippery East-Ender Sammy Starling, aka Sammy China, is in deep trouble and asking for Brock’s help. It seems Sammy’s young wife has been kidnapped; but the strange part is that the ransom notes are decorated with rare and valuable Chalon Head stamps of the young Queen Victoria—to whom Sammy’s wife bears an uncanny resemblance. Sammy is convinced a corrupt cop he once helped put in jail is behind the kidnapping. But Sammy has made a living from fraud and deceit: why should Brock and Kolla trust anything he says?

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Detective Sergeant Harry Belltree, back on the job after a near-fatal confrontation with corrupt colleagues, has become a departmental embarrassment. The solution is a posting away from Sydney and a quiet life in Newcastle.

Or maybe not so quiet. A body’s been found buried just offshore on Ash Island; there may be more. There's also Harry's unfinished business. The car crash that killed his parents and blinded his wife happened not far from Newcastle. And Harry knows it was no accident.

The other unfinished business is Jenny's longed-for pregnancy. Which means that now the stakes are higher than ever.

Barry Maitland was born in Scotland, studied architecture at Cambridge University and went on to work as an architect and urban design expert. In 1984 he moved to Australia to head the architecture school at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. In 1994 The Marx Sisters, the first in his Brock and Kolla crime series, was published. Barry now writes fiction full time. He is published throughout the English-speaking world and in translation in a number of other countries, including Germany, Italy, France and Japan. He lives in the Hunter Valley.

‘This is crime fiction at its very best with a local twist.’ Newcastle Herald

‘A well-constructed and enjoyable mystery that moves at brisk pace. The characterisations are convincing and Maitland, who lives in the Hunter Valley, invests the book with a good sense of place and a nice social conscience.’ Beaudesert Times

‘Maitland does not flinch from a brutal denouement...Prepare for a long and gripping haul.’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald

‘Ash Island is a tense, plot-driven and absorbing novel that features a strong main character. It’s a skilful police procedural in which alarming risks are taken and thrilling developments will unnerve readers.’ Good Reading

Two Cases. One location. The first case, a girl gone missing, seems a decidedly local affair. The second, the return of a violent criminal who had fled the country, instantly attracts the interest of Scotland Yard and Detective Inspector David Brock.
When he learns that his longtime nemesis, the amphetamine-juiced killer and thief known as “Upper” North, may have surfaced, Brock assembles his team and summons Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla. Their manhunt centers on Silvermeadow, the supermall on the outskirts of London where North was spotted. Brock and Kolla camouflage their search for North by taking on the case of the missing girl—a mall employee. They lie in wait, hoping to catch North before he can strike with a new crime. Yet what should they make of rumors of other young girls disappearing from Silvermeadow? Is there a predator on the loose within the apparent safety of a carefully orchestrated aura of order and control? Very quickly, the mall itself—and its colorful cast of characters—becomes key to the dual investigations. This is Maitland at his cunning best.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
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