I can't begin to describe the happy feeling that arose from finding this book in the pile that the postwoman delivered yesterday. Even happier was the co-incidence that I just finished my last book, so I could pick it up straight away. Started last night, this looks to be shaping up to be Barry Maitland's Brock and Kolla at their best.
From the blurb:
When the red-haired, beautiful and mysterious, Marion Summers dies in horrendous circumstances in the London Library, Brock and Kolla are brought in to investigate, in the new mystery from Australia's master of crime.
Nigel Ogilvie hurried up the stairs to the Reading Room on the first floor, and made his way, panting slightly, to the big windows overlooking the square. It was a dazzling spring morning, the sun glistening on new foliage bursting from the trees in the central garden, so that it seemed as if King William on his bronze horse was pracing through a brilliant green cloud.
When Marion Summers - red-haired, beautiful and mysterious - collapses and dies in the rarefied surrounds of the London Library, DI Kathy Kolla and DCI David Brock are sent to head the investigation. Kathy finds a reluctant kinship with the fiesty Marion, who had, like Kathy, left a difficult home life when young and struck out to London for independence.
Marion's research on the intriguing, adulterous circle of artists, wives, lovers and muses around Victorian artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti seems irrelevant, until the use of arsenic arises. As Brock and Kolla get closer to the truth, another victim dies an excruciating death in a library, and it looks like a serial poisoner is on the loose.