Henrietta Cosgrove's eightieth birthday luncheon had gone very well, her five stepchildren all gathered to celebrate in her lovely old thatched house. But then Henrietta dropped a bombshell. To shore up her dwindling income, she proposed to sell two landscapes by a painter whose work had recently appreciated. That night the house burned down. When the pictures were found to be missing it looked as though the fire was intended to cover the theft. But what the fire uncovered was far more dramatic . . .
Elizabeth Ferrars 1907-1995One of the most distinguished crime writers of her generation, Elizabeth Ferrars was born in Rangoon and came to Britain at the age of six. She was a pupil at Bedales school between 1918 and 1924, studied journalism at London University and published her first crime novel, Give a Corpse a Bad Name, in 1940, the year that she met her second husband, academic Robert Brown. Highly praised by critics, her brand of intelligent, gripping mysteries beloved by readers, she wrote over seventy novels and was also published (as E. X. Ferrars) in the States, where she was equally popular. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine described her as as 'the writer who may be the closest of all to Christie in style, plotting and general milieu', and the Washington Post called her 'a consummate professional in clever plotting, characterization and atmosphere'. She was a founding member of the Crime Writer's Association, who, in the early 1980s, gave her a lifetime achievement award.