“It’s a terrible thought. To murder anyone. You must have to hate them intensely, and there’s someone going round hating like that. It frightens me.“
Nurse Jessica Biggs is the backbone of the small rural hospital where she works. Her colleagues value her skill and efficiency as a nurse, yet her harsh manner has won her no friends either inside or outside the hospital. Plain, poorly educated, and aging, Sister Biggs knows that she cannot rely on anyone else to secure her future. Her position offers her access to sensitive information, things that her patients would not want anyone else to know. Sister Biggs knows how to keep a secret…for a price. Continue reading “Epitaph for a Nurse (1958) by Anne Hocking”
“Father was a bully, a sadist, a vain, selfish man. He liked to feel that you and Catherine and I were in his power. He’s kept you chained to his heels for years, he’s made me feel a worm ever since I can remember, and he’d have mucked up Catherine’s happiness if he could…The man who put him out did a good deed which benefits all of us. I don’t know who he was and I don’t care, but if I knew, wild horses wouldn’t make me tell. I hope he gets off scot free.”
To most of the world, Anthony Medway is one of England’s greatest painters. His family sees him very differently. To his mother, he’s the man who has given her a home, but no love or freedom. To his only child Philip, he’s an abusive father who hates having a crippled son, yet refuses to let Philip access his own money for medical treatments. And to his wife Catherine, he’s the man who loves only her beauty, viewing her as just another work of art.
Anthony has brought these three people, his nearest relations and fiercest enemies, to Cyprus for a new beginning. They soon realize, however, that Anthony will never really change. When he is found dead in his studio, any one of them could be responsible. Every picture tells a story, but Superintendent William Austen will need an artist’s eye to spot this killer. Continue reading “Prussian Blue (1947) by Anne Hocking”
“She isn’t fit to live. She’s a Circe; she turns men into beasts.”
Scotland Yard Inspector William Austen, now stationed in Cairo with military intelligence, finds it hard to leave his old job behind. One day, he overhears a conversation between two dazzling young lovers. It’s not a happy one. “People don’t do that kind of thing to me,” Flavia tells Brian angrily, “and you’re not going to be the one to try.”
Hours later, Austen meets the couple again at a party—with Flavia’s husband Thomas in tow. When the guests adjourn to Mena House Hotel for a moonlight swim in the shadow of the Pyramids, Austen uses an air raid as an excuse to leave early. He’s not the only one to take advantage of this opportunity.
By midnight, Flavia Barry is dead at the bottom of the pool. She is buried before noon. By evening, Austen is investigating her murder.
Continue reading “Nile Green (1943) by Anne Hocking”