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Arsenic Labyrinth

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Author: Martin Edwards

Genre: Crime, Mystery & Thriller
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780749080044
Rights: UK and Comm
Pub. Date: 1st June 2011

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Price: £7.99

Format: Paperback

Part of the series:
Lake District Cold-Case Mysteries

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Synopsis of book»

Historian Daniel Kind is finding the winter months at Brackdale tough, especially so as his relationship with Miranda is also going through a dark time. Far from the bright lights of London and with the renovations behind schedule and over-budget, Miranda has a bad case of itchy feet. The fear that she may just get up and leave isn't far from his thoughts.

She wouldn't be the first: years ago a solitary woman called Emma Beswick left her cottage nearby and never came back. Her disappearance went unaccounted for, and the unresolved case always irked DCI Hannah Scarlett.

Someone knows something though; someone who keeps calling the local newspaper and dropping hints about Emma's death. With the case reopened, Hannah and Daniel are drawn together again, and discover that one person will preserve the secrets of the past, whatever the cost.

What Critics Have Said»

'This is top quality crime writing which beautifully evokes the atmosphere of the Lakes [and] and the interrelationships that develop in small communities... This was such a gripping and fascinating read that, until I reached the end, I did not realise it was over 400 pages in length. I will definitely be on the look out for more books by Martin Edwards.'Crime Scraps Blog

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'The Arsenic Labyrinth is a fast-moving book...The plot is both solid and satisfying: sharp without being cynical, funny without drifting into pastiche, and serious without being stodgy...Martin Edwards has well and truly hit his stride in his Lake District novels'Eurocrime

‘A good mystery… interesting characters and excellent plot twists. Highly recommended.’Mystery Women

‘A beautifully crafted book. Events from the past are woven into fascinating contemporary rural mystery to make a satisfying whole. And for lovers of the classic whodunit, there’s a delicious twist in the tail’Ann Cleeves

‘Deceit, betrayal, the fickleness of the human heart…Edwards suggests that the labyrinthine quality of the human condition is a more baffling mystery than is the case of whodunit’Reviewingtheevidence.com

‘As ever, Edwards serves us a rich mixture of local history, strong characterisation and cunning plotting.’Morning Star

‘A superbly crafted story set in and around Coniston. The twisting plot concludes with a startling climax’Lake District Life

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What You Say»                                                             Add your review »

'The third instalment from Martin Edwards in his unique "Lake District" series, and as with the previous two books, an absolute gem. I whole heartedly agree with other reviewers about "The Arsenic Labyrinth" and can endorse that, with every additional book, we learn more about the characters, places, folklore, myths and legends that abound in the Lake District of Martin Edwards' literature. What has struck me from reading the first book "The Coffin Trail" through to this third endeavour is the knowledge we gleam regarding the main players in this series, their likes, dislikes, loves and attractions (I wont say any more, I promise!). Then there is Edwards extensive research into the actual, and historically correct, titles of his books. I had no idea that their really are walkways called "Coffin Trails", horticultural puzzles such as "Cipher Gardens", and quarry struck man made tunnels called "Arsenic Labyrinth's". I can be a bit of an impatient reader. If I feel that a book is taking too long, or becomes tiresome, I cut it very little slack. Once or twice I have come close to abandoning each of Martin Edwards books. Only because they have to be read slightly differently from the body strung, high octave, serial killer bumpers, that are for the most, my books of choice. Thank God I persevered. For I have been rewarded with a series of books that are literate, but not bewildering, and engaging, yet gritty and highly entertaining. Can't wait for the next one.'Dave

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'I would of had to of had a "duvet day" if I wasn't already off work as I couldn't put The Arsenic Labyrinth down! Meticulous research, (I never knew arsenic was so fascinating) believable characters and a wonderfully intricate plot make Martin Edwards' third Lake District novel another winner. The story revolves around two murders separated by fifty years but the victims are both found in The Arsenic Labyrinth. I defy anyone to guess who the murderers are and why the murders were commited! Martin Edwards kept me guessing until nearly the last page again!! The characters of Hannah,head of the Cold Case Team, and Daniel, an Oxford historian who has down sized to The Lakes play a large and ever intriguing role but the story also has some facinating and eccentric characters. I especially liked Alban Clough owner of Cumbria's Museum of Myth and Legend and Guy (is that his real name!?) From the first line "you'd never believe it to look at me now, but once upon a time I killed a man" to the last page I was hooked. It is hard to believe that Martin Edwards is a full time partner in a law firm and only writes in his spare time!If you have some spare time Mr Edwards could we have some more please?'Ms. El Spencer

'Like fine wine, Martin Edwards's series of novels set in the Lake District improve with age. The Arsenic Labyrinth, the third in the series following the highly acclaimed The Coffin Trail and The Cipher Garden, sees the lives of former historian Daniel Kind and DCI Hannah Scarlett become entwined again in a tale more satisfying than a bottle of vintage Krug. Historian Daniel Kind is finding the winter months at Brackdale tough, especially so as his relationship with Miranda is also going through a dark time. Far from the bright lights of London and with the renovations behind schedule and over-budget, Miranda has a bad case of itchy feet. The fear that she may just get up and leave isn't far from his thoughts. She wouldn't be the first: years ago a solitary woman called Emma Beswick left her cottage nearby and never came back. Her disappearance went unaccounted for, and the unresolved case always irked DCI Hannah Scarlett. Someone knows something though; someone who keeps calling the local newspaper and dropping hints about Emma's death. With the case reopened, Hannah and Daniel are drawn together again, and discover that one person will preserve the secrets of the past, whatever the cost. This, genuinely, is one terrific read. Intriguing, fast-paced and, at times, disturbing, The Arsenic Labyrinth sees the central characters of Kind and Scarlett as more rounded, more genuine individuals who continue to grow with steadfast assuredness. Edwards's grasp on the descriptive, too, is evermore vivid as the sights and scents of The Lakes become ever more evocative so that one can almost smell the bracken, feel the mist and sense the knives being stabbed into backs by the locals, as gossip and innuendo increases on every page. The Arsenic Labyrinth is Martin Edwards at his very, very best and is a complex though never confusing thriller that should be read by anyone with a love of excellent writing.'Chris H

'Hannah Scarlett and her cold case team are forced into investigating the disappearance - or is it murder? - of Emma Beswick, by an investigative journalist. Hannah herself was part of the original investigation and felt that there was more to the case than they'd discovered. Daniel Kind - the Oxford historian who has moved to the Lake District, is also curious about the case and is looking for an excuse to contact Hannah again. His relationship with Miranda is going nowhere and he is looking for a new subject to write about. Full of troubled characters, both past and present, who all have skeletons rattling in their cupboards and marvellous descriptions of the scenery and atmosphere of the Lake District, this third book in the series is every bit as good as the last two. I read it over 24 hours and found I had to keep reading until I found who had been murdered and why. The ending is brilliant and definitely not what I thought it would be. I look forward to reading the next in the series.'Damaskcat

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Books in this series                                  See full list »

  • The Coffin Trail
  • The Cipher Garden
  • The Serpent Pool
  • Arsenic Labyrinth
  • The Serpent Pool
  • Arsenic Labyrinth

Other Books by this author                                  See full list »

  • Take My Breath Away
  • The Dungeon House
  • The Frozen Shroud
  • The Hanging Wood
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