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Margot Arnold Books In Order

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Publication Order of Penny Spring and Sir Toby Glendower Books

Exit Actors, Dying (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Zadok's Treasure (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cape Cod Caper (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of a Voodoo Doll (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death on the Dragon's Tongue (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lament for a Lady Laird (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Menehune Murders (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Toby's Folly (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Catacomb Conspiracy (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cape Cod Conundrum (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dirge for a Dorset Druid (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Midas Murders (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Officers' Woman (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Villa On The Palatine (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marie, Voodoo Queen (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Affairs of State (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Love Among the Allies (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Desperate Measures (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sinister Purposes (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Frighteners 2(1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The 10th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories(1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ready or Not: Here Come Fourteen Frightening Stories!(1987)Description / Buy at Amazon

Margot Arnold is the pen name used by Petronelle Marguerite Mary Cook, originally from Plymouth, Devon, in England. She completed her undergraduate studies and received a Prehistoric Archaeology and Anthropology diploma in 1947 and a Master’s degree in 1950, both from Oxford University. Arnold, known for her mystery fiction, especially the series featuring Dr Penny Spring and Sir Toby Glendower—two characters connected to Oxford University in England as an anthropologist and an archaeologist, respectively—spent many years living in Hyannis, Massachusetts. After a long period on Cape Cod, she moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Exit Actors, Dying is the first novel in the Penny Spring and Sir Toby Glendower series. It’s an engaging duo whose adventures in solving mysteries take them from the academic halls of Oxford University to exotic locales around the world. Penny, a New England native turned Oxford anthropology lecturer, and Toby, a distinguished Welsh archaeologist, share a dynamic and endearing partnership characterized by their witty exchanges and deep-seated mutual respect, reminiscent of an old married couple’s rapport.

Penny and Toby embark on what appears to be a leisurely journey through Turkey under the guise of a sightseeing excursion with a scholarly bent towards exploring ancient Greek ruins. The trip quickly takes a turn towards the macabre when Penny, venturing alone, discovers the body of a young woman with a fatal wound, only for the corpse to vanish by the time she returns with the local authorities. Scepticism from the police chief threatens to derail their trip until Toby’s grim discovery- a deceased young black man connected to a film crew in the region-lends credence to Penny’s account.

The missing woman is soon identified as a member of the film company that produced The Travels of Telemachus. This coincidence propels Penny and Toby into an unofficial investigation, intertwining with the film crew and untangling a web of motives that could range from professional jealousy and illicit love affairs to the darker realms of drug and artifact smuggling. The duo’s knack for diplomacy and investigation proves invaluable, especially with Toby’s impending knighthood ceremony demanding a swift resolution to the unfolding drama.
Exit Actors, Dying serves as an intriguing mystery with its complex plot and array of suspects and as an introduction to the richly drawn relationship between Penny and Toby. Their chemistry and collaborative approach to solving the mystery provide a solid foundation for the series, inviting readers into their world of intellectual pursuit and daring adventure. Arnold masterfully crafts a narrative that balances the cerebral aspects of academic life with the thrill of detective work, all while developing a cast of compelling and relatable characters. This first instalment promises a series filled with intrigue, humor, and the exploration of human motives against cultural and historical richness.

The Cape Cod Caper is the second novel in the Penny Spring and Sir Toby Glendower Series by Margot Arnold. In the shadowed calm of the Cape, the discovery of a gruesomely mutilated body within a cranberry bog on the affluent Dimola estate triggers a chain of ominous events. Entangled in the complexities of her past relationship with Zeb Grange, Penelope Spring finds herself drawn back into his life under the direst of circumstances. The urgency of her journey is compounded when she learns of a sinister attempt on Zeb’s life, which has left him hovering between life and death in a coma.

As Penelope, or Penny as she’s known, delves deeper into the mystery, her intuition begins to piece together a disturbing picture, pointing accusingly at the Dimola family, whose opulent lifestyle and secretive demeanor hide a labyrinth of dark secrets. Meanwhile, her colleague, Toby Glendower, embarks on a separate investigation into the enigmatic past of the Dimola clan in Italy, unraveling tales that hint at the motive behind the heinous crimes.

In a bold move, she decides to use herself as bait in a trap to capture her prime suspect. However, Toby’s investigation abroad brings alarming revelations that cast doubt on Penny’s strategy. With the puzzle pieces falling into place, Toby finds himself in a frantic race against time, desperate to prevent Penny from walking into a trap that could very well spell her doom.

Penny’s bravery and determination to seek justice, even at great personal risk, are at the heart of this narrative, showcasing her resilience and unwavering pursuit of the truth. As the story unfolds, it shows the lengths one will go to protect loved ones and expose the corruption festering beneath the surface of wealth and privilege.

In the third novel in the Sir Toby Glendower series, Sir Toby Glendower embarks on a perilous quest to unravel the disappearance of his colleague, Bill Pearson, from an archaeological dig in Israel. The request comes from Bill’s distressed wife, Valerie, who is desperate for answers regarding her husband’s fate. Toby enlists the help of his close companion, Penny Spring, to delve into the mystery. He tasks Penny with the dual responsibility of keeping Valerie company and conducting her research in the bustling city of Jerusalem. At the same time, he ventures into the desert to follow the trail left by Bill.

Toby’s investigation leads him to a grim discovery: Bill’s tortured remains hinting at the dark undercurrents swirling around the archaeological site. His journey through the desert is fraught with danger, including tense encounters with hostile Bedouins and the tantalizing hint of a hidden treasure that might be linked to Bill’s demise. Back at the dig, a web of suspects emerges, each with their secrets and motives, as Toby finds himself ensnared in a complex puzzle where trust is scarce, and additional murders threaten his safety.

Meanwhile, Penny proves to be more than just a watchful eye over Valerie. Her inquisitive nature and keen intellect guide her through the labyrinthine streets of Jerusalem, uncovering crucial insights into the backgrounds of the dig members and their associates. Penny’s discoveries contribute significantly to piecing together the mystery surrounding Bill’s death and the dangerous secrets buried within the archaeological site.

For readers unfamiliar with the historical context, a brief exploration of the period’s politics enriches the reading experience, providing a clearer understanding of the characters’ motivations and stakes.

The detailed portrayal of the archaeological site’s intricate plot and rich historical context make for a captivating read. The promise of further adventures with Toby and Penny in subsequent series instalments beckons readers to continue exploring the mysteries that Arnold skillfully crafts, blending academic intrigue with the timeless allure of a well-spun tale.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Margot Arnold

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