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Elizabeth Ironside Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Very Private Enterprise (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in the Garden (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Accomplice (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Art of Deception (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Good Death (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Elizabeth Ironside
Elizabeth Ironside is an English author of mystery and thrillers novels. She has authored five mystery novels under the pen name Lady Catherine Manning. She’s also the wife to the British Ambassador to the U.S.

Ironside’s first novel, A very Private Enterprise won the John Creasey Award in 1985 for being the Best First Mystery. Her second book, Death in the Garden, was also nominated in the Best Mystery of 1995 category. So far, Ironside has five distinct works to her name. The author’s writing appeals to readers looking for captivating mystery stories with complex characters and also a hint of historical charm.

Death in the Garden
Death in the Garden tells the story of a young lady trying to solve a murder that remained a mystery 60 years after it happened. In 1925, Diana Pollexfen turned 30, and to celebrate this milestone; she invited her friends over for a party. Things turn sour when Diana’s husband, George Pollexfen, dies of poisoning.

After investigations, it is clear that George’s cocktail was laced with chemicals, and all of them were traced to Diana’s photography studio. Diana is accused of killing her husband, but when she takes to the stand, the justice system finds her innocent. While Diana is exonerated, the shadow of this case follows her throughout her lifetime. It doesn’t help that the person who committed the heinous crime is never found.

Now, it is in the 1990s, and Diana’s grand-niece is turning 30. Helena’s birthday is celebrated with less fanfare as there are no friends to party with. The only social outlet the overworked attorney has is an obsessive love affair and nothing else. For distraction, Helena went through her great aunt’s papers to learn about that murder in the garden many decades ago. The more detailed she gathers; the more Helena gets obsessed with this case. She is determined to stop at nothing until she solves this mystery. With the help of her great aunt’s principal heir, Helena goes through records that could help solve this mystery.
This story is set in two timelines. The first setting is in the early 1920s, right after the war ended. Wounds caused by the war are still fresh, and the survivors are trying to enjoy every moment. In English Country home, guests spend a weekend celebrating a birthday in an MP’ s home. The second timeline is in the 1990s, were you meet Helena. Adopted as a teenager by The Great Aunt, Helena only comes to learn about George’s death on her guardian’s deathbed. Why did the Great Aunt keep all this from her family until her final days?

Away from George’s murder, this book looks at women and their changing roles in society. The author paints a perfect picture of an event that occurred in 1925 while incorporating the historical background from the eyes of the modern generation. Helena relies on letters, journals, recorded history, and reminiscences to piece the puzzle, which gives this book quite an edge. So, who killed George, and what was their motivation?

Death in the Garden is an absorbing English mystery. The author slowly unfolds this tale of friendship, self-deception, death, justice, and war. Through the story, the author also draws the parallels between Diana and Helena’s life. The exciting switches between the past and present don’t affect the flow. Once you start reading, putting this book down will be quite a task as the tension slowly rises as details unfold.

The Accomplice
The Accomplice features Jean Loftus, an older woman with a colorful past. Jean has lived in the English countryside for most of her life. She has enjoyed a peaceful life, and most of the early days in Russia are almost forgotten. Enter a Russian student who cannot stop asking about her early life, and Jean’s quiet life is rudely interrupted. Soon after, a skeleton is unearthed from Jean’s garden, and with it comes all the skeletons of Jean’s past. These skeletons expose Jean’s chaotic life as a refugee who had to endure two world wars. So, where did Jean come from before she settled in the English countryside? Why is it that so little is known about her past life?

Jean’s neighbor Zita Daunser wants to help Jean protect her secrets. However, with the curious Russian student in town, this will be quite a task. Zita is a lawyer with a crazy, Russian, Nobel prize-winning physicist for a mother. Aside from dealing with the manipulative student, she also has to protect her lovely neighbor and take care of her CP son. So, whose body was buried in the garden, and what secrets is Jean trying so hard to conceal? As the story unfolds, exciting expeditions in the past are revealed. From the scenes witnessed in WWII to the happenings in the Russian Revolution, this book will take you back to a notable time in history. However, you will have to wait until the end to find the murder details.

This is a captivating story of love, deception, and murder. It shows just how much people we think are close to us can continue deceiving us for years. With continually changing scenes and turns, you will barely see coming; the author takes the reader on a nostalgic journey through memory lane. The ending is nothing close to what you expect, but it is satisfying and in a bizarre way. Join Zita as she works hard to protect a neighbor and a friend. You will also get a glimpse of Jean’s past life and somehow understand why she would prefer to keep her past hidden.

The Accomplice is a well-written story featuring unusual historical mystery. With rising tension, a fast pace, and well-placed twists and turns, the author welcomes the reader into Jean’s past and present life. Here, you will meet interesting and relatable characters in complicated settings. The descriptions are so vivid that every bit reads like a true story. From the flawless narration, it is easy to see how talented the author is. The fact that history is perfectly incorporated into this story means that the author took her time to research different historical events.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Elizabeth Ironside

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