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Clara Benson Books In Order

Publication Order of Angela Marchmont Mystery Books

The Murder at Sissingham Hall (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Mystery at Underwood House (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Treasure at Poldarrow Point (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Riddle at Gipsy's Mile (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Incident at Fives Castle (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Imbroglio at the Villa Pozzi (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Problem at Two Tithes (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Trouble at Wakeley Court (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Scandal at 23 Mount Street (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Angela's Christmas Adventure (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Man on the Train (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Question of Hats (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shadow at Greystone Chase (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures Books

A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Case of Murder in Mayfair (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Case of Conspiracy in Clerkenwell (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Case of Duplicity in Dorset (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Case of Suicide in St. James's (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Lucases of Lucas Lodge (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In Darkness, Look for Stars (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stolen Letter (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Clara Benson is a historical mystery author best known for the “Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures” and the “Angela Marchmont Mysteries.” These are traditional English mysteries set in 1920 and 1930 England settings. Like many of her contemporaries, she always thought she was going to become a professional author though it would be many years before she wrote anything. As a child, she was a compulsive writer even though she found it hard to ever complete anything she started. When she was in her twenties, she began writing a manuscript and asserts that what she wrote was so appalling that she is glad it never saw the light of day. Benson got a jumpstart when she thought that she had to start writing if she ever wanted to make something of her writing dreams. The inspiration came a decade earlier when her father got a terminal cancer diagnosis. She thought that it would be terrible if she was to lose him while she had never accomplished anything that would make him proud. Since her father a voracious reader, Clara thought there was no better way to leave a mark. While she immediately started writing, she was unfortunate that he died before she could finish though he knew that she was working on a manuscript.

Before Clara became an author, she was working as a translator, and hence once she got into writing, she had become used to working with documents. While translating is a bit different from authorship since it has to do with crafting sentences and using already crafted ideas, it still played a huge role in her later career. Nonetheless, the biggest influence was the fact that she loved reading and had read the likes of Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew, and Enid Blyton growing up. Obviously, she loved mystery and by the time she started writing, she had read hundreds of titles though she would still read other genres here and there. Some other genres she read include the classics, literary, historical, fantasy, and romance fiction. While she does not have much time to read these days, she still loves the Golden Age mystery authors and reads their works from time to time. While she cannot be compared to the greats, she has asserted that she usually writes mysteries and characters to entertain her audiences. Nonetheless, she believes that a great mystery is one that does not have a clear cut or easy to decipher meanings and mysteries.

In writing the “Angela Marchmont” series of novels, she has said that she intended to reproduce the style and tone of the Golden Age works rather than produce a historical fiction work. The reason for this is that she was sure that there many lovers of mystery who wanted a taste of the Golden Age just as much as she did. To present a more immersive experience and to avoid publicity because she is a very private person, she authored the novels as a 1920’s Golden era author named Clara Benson. Benson has said that writing the first manuscript was some kind of personal challenge to determine if she could write something that could pass muster. She never thought too hard about her story given that she did not believe anyone would ever buy it. In 2013, Clara published “The Murder at Sissingham” online then promptly forgot about it. A few weeks later, she was surprised to log into her account and find the novel had sold several copies. Several months later it had more than a thousand sales and she began thinking of dusting off the sequel which she had begun to write but had lost steam. “The Mystery at Underwood House” the second title of the “Angela Marchmont Mystery” series was published in the same year. By the time she was publishing the second novel, she so loved the lead protagonist that she could not stop. Her writing seemed to take a life of its own and she has never stopped since.

Clara Benson’s debut novel “The Murder at Sissingham Hall” introduces Charles Knox a man who is back home in England after nearly a decade in Africa. He had made a tiny pile prospecting for gold in Africa and thinks he will have a great life in England where he is reunited with most of his old friends. But it is not all sunshine and rainbows as he is not happy that Rosamund his ex-fiancé is married to Sir Neville Strickland, a much older and wealthy man. He also finds himself attracted to Sylvia, the sister of his friend Sylvia. When he is invited to Sissingham Hall with his friend Bob and his sister Sylvia he thinks things will be a little awkward. While the meeting goes on well, Sissingham is not as great as it seems as Sir Neville believes he is surrounded by liars and deceivers. Things get even more interesting when the man is found dead in his study and the police believe it was an inside job which puts guests are under suspicion. The guests believe it was an outsider that did it and Joan, Angela, and Charles try to investigate. While some guests have a motive for killing Sir Neville, proving or building a case might be more difficult.

Benson’s “The Mystery at Underwood House” follows from the events of the debut novel of the series. Angela Marchmont had been successful in solving the mystery at Sissingham Hall and is now approached by Louisa Haynes, an old friend from Underwood House. She lives with her son Donald and husband John. Louis wants help with Philip Haynes her eccentric and mischievous father in law who loves causing trouble between members of his family. Everyone expected that the elder Haynes would leave the Underwood House to the eldest son but he threw them a curveball. When the will was read, it was discovered that he had split the estate between all his living children that included Edward, John, Winifred, and Philippa. Christina the rebellious and wayward daughter had left home as a teen and soon after was reported dead. The will mandates that the family that includes the grandchildren and children of Philip Haynes has been mandated to meet twice every year though the meetings are full of bad humor and ill grace. An even more interesting development is that three people have died while attending the meetings and Louisa believes there is something sinister going on. It is a beautiful mystery story of financial scandals, secrets, and family feuds.

Clara Benson’s “The Treasure at Poldarrow Point” opens to Angela Marchmont going to Penzance in Cornwall since her doctor recommended that she take a rest after a strong bout of flu. Once she arrives in Cornwall, she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of an interesting mystery when she gets an invite to visit Poldarrow Point, a former smugglers’ house where Miss Trout and her nephew live. Rumor has it that the house has a hidden treasure in it believed to be Marie Antoinette’s diamond necklace. Angela is not the only one looking for the beautiful treasure as Barbara her twelve-year-old daughter is also interested in it. She had arrived on the scene unexpectedly since the family she had been scheduled to reside with had been infected with scarlet fever. If they can find the treasure it will provide much-needed money to renew the lease on the house that is set to expire in a few weeks.

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