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Tuesday 14 July 2015

‘Death's Bright Angel’ by Janet Neel

Published by Ostara Publishing. (Reprint)
ISBN: 978-1-906288-90-7

William Fireman is a quiet, elderly, Yorkshire businessman and, according to all who knew him, he hadn't got an enemy in the world. When Fireman is brutally killed during a visit to London, the assumption that he has been murdered during a mugging seems entirely reasonable. However Detective Inspector John McLeish is not certain this is the case. McLeish's investigation into Fireman's murder takes him to Yorkshire, to check out Britex Fabrics, the business that Fireman worked for. It also brings him into contact with the Department of Trade and Industry and one of the Department's rising young stars, Francesca Wilson. Francesca is a strange mixture of brilliance and gaucheness, confidence and insecurity, and McLeish is attracted to her from the moment that they meet.

As the investigation continues, McLeish is drawn deeper into the complex world of political and business intrigue and is also drawn into contact with Francesca and her eccentric, close-knit, talented family. As he nears discovery of the truth about William Fireman's murder, both McLeish and Francesca find their lives in danger.

Death's Dark Angel was written in the 1980s and has recently been reprinted by Ostara Publishing.  It is an intriguing novel, which skilfully draws together the three worlds of politics, business and detection and weaves them into a seamless narrative. While the attitudes it expresses are very much of its time, it is a fascinating novel which is still enjoyable today. It is the first of the novels featuring DI John McLeish, and both he and Francesca are engaging, well-drawn characters. A very good read.
Reviewer: Carol Westron

Janet Neel Cohen, Baroness Cohen of Pimlico is a British lawyer and crime fiction writer. She was born 4 July 1940, and was educated at South Hampstead High School. She graduated from Newham College, Cambridge University in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Honours, Law. She started to work as a practising solicitor in 1965. She married James Lionel Cohen, son of Dr. Richard Henry Lionel Cohen, on 18 December 1971. She was a Governor of the BBC between 1994 and 1999, and she was created Baroness Cohen of Pimlico, in the City of Westminster (life peer), on 3 May 2000 and sits as a Labour peer in the House of Lords. Her first novel Death's Bright Angel, won the John Creasey award for best first crime novel of 1988. 

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her second book About the Children was published in May 2014.

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