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David Roberts Books In Order

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Publication Order of Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne Books

Sweet Poison (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hollow Crown (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bones of the Buried (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous Sea (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The More Deceived (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Grave Man (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Quality of Mercy (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Something Wicked (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
No More Dying (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sweet Sorrow (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

David Roberts, English author and novelist was born in January 1944 in the United Kingdom.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer in 2000, Roberts worked for some thirty years as a book editor at distinguished publishing houses like Chatto and Windus, an editorial director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson and a partner of Michael O’Mara Books.

He later signed with the Andrew Lownie Agency, having first met Andrew when the literary agent brought some best selling books to the publishing house David was working at back in the 1980s and the 1990s. Andrew’s friendship and support was present during the years that Roberts became a writer and penned his own series of books.

Roberts is married and lives in the United Kingdom, dividing his time between London and Wiltshire.

Roberts is most recognized for his series of crime novels (a set of ten) which take place between the wars in Britain in the 1930s, even using actual historical events in the background. His research is based on wide reading of the novels, diaries and memoirs of the period. Each book also contains a note from the author with a short outline about what became of the historical characters. It appears the intent of this series was to delve into the moral ambiguities faced by the British intellectuals during the years between the wars. Originally exploring a more lighthearted and seemingly humorous tone, the mood of the books in the series darkened as the years (both real and fictional) progressed. These works feature the Verity Brown and Lord Edward Corinth characters.

Based on the American foreign Correspondent Martha Gellhorn, the Verity Browne character is a leftist journalist in her early 20s when the series begins and she works as a journalist for the Daily Worker paper when she and Edward first meet at his brother Gerald’s Mersham Castle. Browne is the only child of well-to-do and well-known liberal lawyer Donald Browne who bankrolls the newspaper she writes for.

Lord Edward is a Cambridge educated member of an aristocratic family in his mid-thirties when the series begins in August of 1935 and is the youngest of three sons. His older brothers are Gerald, Duke of Mersham and Franklyn, who perished on a battlefield in France in 1914.

Sweet Poison is the first book in the series and it takes place as Edward’s brother Gerald is hosting one of his influential parties in which a number of public figures are in attendance, aiming to improve Anglo-German relations. General Sir Alistair Craig VC ingests poison from a glass of port after dinner and dies just at the moment Edward and Verity are arriving fashionably late to the gathering. Could it have been suicide? Craig was still grieving his wife’s recent death and was in poor health already. His acts of mistreatment of prisoners of war was about to go public. Was it murder? The pair of amateur sleuths Verity and Edward somehow find common ground as they attempt to discover the reason for the general’s murder and find that just about everyone in attendance has a motive for his untimely demise – even the host of the gathering. The only one without a decent motive is Hermione, Lord Weaver’s drug-addicted daughter.

The second book in the series, Bones of the Buried, takes place a year later as Verity calls upon Edward, insistent that he investigate a murder in Madrid, Spain. Verity’s lover David has been convicted of murder and Verity asks for Edward’s help in saving David from death by firing squad. As the country is about to break out into a civil war, Verity is working as a foreign correspondent for a major newspaper and concentrates furiously on defending the Spanish republic against Facism.
Edward succeeds in his task and once back in London, becomes entangled in yet another murder investigation. He and Verity are political opposites, yet they are attracted to each other. The unlikely couple teams up once again to attempt to solve the murder mystery.

Each book in the series take place in rapid sequential order and are cases that need to be solved, usually including at least one murder. Secondary characters such as Edward’s valet Fenton, Edward’s brother Gerald and his wife Connie, their son Frank and Frank’s best friend Charles, to name a few.
Book titles are named from brief quotes of William Shakespeare plays. The full quote as well as the name of the play it came from appear on a page towards the front of the book and have a connection to the book’s plot.

The use of actual historical events and people in Robert’s series of books becomes more pronounced as the series progresses. You’d swear he was describing writer Ernest Hemingway in the character of David Griffiths-Jones, Verity’s lover in Bones of the Buried. The Cable Street Riot and the Jarrow March events are identified in other books in the series and in later novels, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are included as regular characters.

Social issues make an appearance throughout the series as well. Drug addiction is dealt with in the first book in the series, and homosexuality in the second book. Common recurring themes among the rest of the books in the series include alcoholism, pedophilia, marital infidelity and domestic violence.

Roberts writes in the third person, usually from the point of view of Edward. Although following chronological order, the reader finds that some of the roughly 300-page books will depict a prologue which takes place some time in the past and provides clues to the current mystery at hand. If the reader were to pick up the series by beginning with one of the later books, they would not get lost because brief occasional references are made to incidents which occurred earlier in the series.

The cover art for the books was done by Ken Leeder of London. The illustrations show key themes from each and the design elements utilized leave little doubt that all the books in the series are connected.

Columbia Pictures has an option on the series, which winds up with Such Sweet Sorrow, which takes place in September 1939.

Book Series In Order » Authors » David Roberts

One Response to “David Roberts”

  1. Margareta O. Thompson: 3 years ago

    I love these books and hope for more. The local library only has a few and so far I have two, so I will have to buy several more myself. But that is OK, I will buy them.


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