The Spider's Banquet

Julius Falconer Series

Book 1
Pneuma Springs Publishing

A young woman goes to an isolated Warwickshire monastery to visit her brother, who is a monk there. Her sister drops her off at the door. The girl meets her brother in the parlour; they say goodbye and part; and she is never seen again. A search of the buildings and grounds finally reveals her body buried in a shallow grave in the monastery cemetery. The monks, however, have a cast-iron alibi: they were all in chapel at the time of her death. Then the abbot receives a mysterious telephone-call. A man’s voice threatens to hand evidence of the murder to the police – and so incriminate one of the monks - unless the monastery puts up for public auction its most treasured possession, a unique mediaeval manuscript, and donates the proceeds to charity. Is this blackmail or a hoax? As the events unfold, the inspector and his sergeant become less and less sure of what is fact and what is fiction, and the inspector begins to fear for his newly-won promotion. The case takes him to a castle in Italy, a town-house in southern France, a laboratory in Cambridge and the home of a professor of music outside Lincoln; but the solution arrives unexpectedly in his own sitting-room. In this stylish story written in the classic tradition of British detective fiction, the author intrigues, informs and entertains in equal measure. Book reviews online: PublishedBestsellers website.
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About the author

Warwickshire-born Julius Falconer, educated in Leicestershire, Birmingham and Italy, is a former translator and a retired teacher, who has taught at schools in Cornwall and Scotland. He now divides his time between a cottage in central France and the house in Yorkshire which he shares with his daughter and her husband. He was widowed in 2000. As well as some booklets and several dozen papers in professional journals, he is the author of twelve murder mysteries featuring the diffident and cultured Inspector Wickfield. Because the stories are set in Worcestershire, he has featured in the Worcester News, on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester and in the online Newsletter for the Worcestershire tourist board. His hobbies include music, gardening, walking and reading.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Pneuma Springs Publishing
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Published on
Feb 28, 2009
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Pages
153
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ISBN
9781905809462
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Crime
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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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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From the top of the stairs, a little girl of five overhears an argument in the sitting-room below, between her father and a late-night visitor. Frightened and uncertain she dared not descend the staircase but sat trembling at the top, unable to return to bed. Her father is killed. She did not see the killer and cannot remember clearly the content of the conversation, but she remembers the killer’s voice. Twenty years later she recognises the voice, identifies its owner and sets out to take her revenge. The first part of her plan succeeds, and her quarry goes to gaol for six months, but in putting into action the second part, she disappears. Her husband reports her missing, a search is instigated. The police authorities in Worcester believe that Inspector Wickfield is the best man for the job, but he seems to do nothing but stumble from one blind alley to another. His investigation leads him and his sergeant, Spooner, to interview a businessman in Spain, a dotty clergyman, a cashiered army major, a gushing hypnotherapist, a horsey countrywoman and a seedy cabinetmaker, in an attempt to unravel the sequence of events – oh, and there is an important interlude in Scotland - but enlightenment comes only when Wickfield’s wife cracks a philosophical joke. In this work of detective fiction, Julius Falconer delights his readers yet again with a deliciously teasing and ingenious plot, laced with comments on life, the universe and everything – and that, of course, includes revenge. Book reviews online: PublishedBestsellers website.
It is August 1974. A respected teacher at a private girls’ school in rural Worcestershire, Adrian Carrick, physically attracted to one of the Sixth-Form leavers, discloses his feelings for her. Convinced that he has mishandled their final meeting, he writes her a letter of regret and then kills himself by leaping over the edge of a quarry. The coroner’s verdict is suicide while the balance of his mind is disturbed. Not all is as it appears, however, and Inspector Wickfield is called in to take a look. His investigation leads him to Venice, where Carrick seemingly led a double life as the owner of an art gallery which acted as a base for international crime, to St.Gallen and Bologna, to Hereford and Birmingham, to Pershore and the suburbs of Worcester, without significant success. A second murder adds increasing urgency to the case. Interleaved in the investigation are the members of Mr Carrick’s philosophy class, in particular the girl who had caught Carrick’s eye. The case is solved through two startling pieces of intuition, which confirm the inspector’s place at the top of his profession and his wife, Beth, as his steady muse. In Mr Carrick is Laid to Rest, Julius Falconer has again provided the discerning public with a tightly-woven, deft and thought-provoking novel in the best traditions of British detective fiction. It will defy your efforts to put it down, and Inspector Wickfield will take his place in the pantheon of greats. Book reviews online: PublishedBestsellers website.
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