MIKE RIPLEY is the author of a dozen previous novels in the Angel series, which have twice won the Crime Writers' Last Laugh Award for comedy. He was also a scriptwriter for the BBC's Lovejoy series and served as the Daily Telegraph's crime fiction critic for ten years. He currently writes a monthly crime column for the Birmingham Post and regularly talks on crime fiction at libraries and festivals. After 20 years of working in London, he decamped to East Anglia and became an archaeologist. He was thus one of the few crime writers who regularly turned up real bodies.