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Absent Friends: A Nell Bray Mystery [Paperback]

Gillian Linscott
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

14 Jan 1999
The First World War is over, despite victory England is struggling to come to terms with its aftermath and society can never be the same again. Another battle that has been won is by the suffragettes - women not only have the vote they can also stand for Parliament. Nell Bray, flushed with the success of their campaign, is now searching for someone or some party to support her stand for election. Out of the blue she is approached by the widow of a recently deceased Conservative M.P whose husband had been killed by a firework, however the widow is convinced he was murdered by a political opponent. When she offers to cover Nell's election expenses in exchange for her investigating his death, Nell is at first wary of taking the woman's money for a political end, but when she looks more closely at the circumstances of the ex-M.P's death she agrees. In between the hustings and pamphlet printing, Nell discovers more likely suspects than the man's erstwhile political foe, including someone who is trying to undermine her own campaign. As the votes are counted she unmasks the real killer in a most satisfactory denouement to a delightfully serpentine whodunnit.


Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (14 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860495907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860495908
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,972,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

ABSENT FRIENDS is a ripping good yarn. (Lisa Jardine, THE TIMES )

A sharp eye for high and low society and absurdly readable (DAILY TELEGRAPH )

Linscott writes like a rewarding angel (SUNDAY TIMES )

Another finely constructed and engrossing book from Ms Linscott. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH )

Book Description

The latest in Gillian Linscott's unique series of historical mysteries in which Nell Bray is investigating a murder as well as running her own election campaign.

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3.0 out of 5 stars Suffragette investigator 7 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback
The 8th Nell Bray book. The First World War is over, despite victory England is struggling to come to terms with its aftermath and society can never be the same again. Another battle that has been won is by the suffragettes - women not only have the vote they can also stand for Parliament. Nell Bray, flushed with the success of their campaign, is now searching for someone or some party to support her stand for election. Out of the blue she is approached by the widow of a recently deceased Conservative M.P whose husband had been killed by a firework, however the widow is convinced he was murdered by a political opponent. When she offers to cover Nell's election expenses in exchange for her investigating his death, Nell is at first wary of taking the woman's money for a political end, but when she looks more closely at the circumstances of the ex-M.P's death she agrees that it wasn't necessarily an accident. In between the hustings and pamphlet printing, Nell discovers more likely suspects than the man's erstwhile political foe, including someone who is trying to undermine her own campaign. As the votes are counted she unmasks the real killer in a most satisfactory denouement to a delightfully serpentine whodunnit. [see Fantastic Fiction page]
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical mystery 31 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In 1918 England, feminists rejoice that for the first time women can vote and run for public office. Nell Bray wants to be one of the few female candidates, but one month before the election Nell remains an independent, still seeking party support and the backing of her friends. Without a party, Nell knows she has no chance of winning a seat in Parliament.
As Nell tries to obtain backing, a member of Parliament Charles Sollers sets off fireworks at a celebration. However, a tragic accident occurs and Charles dies. Charles's widow Lucinda believes the political rival of her spouse murdered him. Lucinda backs Nell with financial support. Meanwhile, even as she runs for office, Nell begins to investigate what really happened to Charles.
The Nell Bray historical mysteries represent some of the sub-genre's best works of this decade. The current tale, ABSENT FRIENDS is an entertaining look at the point where success has visited the suffragette movement in England. Nell remains a warm, intelligent protagonist who cannot resist amateur sleuthing. Though the story line may meander a bit too long from its main plot, Gillian Linscott brings to her readers the detail and fervor of the era wrapped inside an enjoyable novel.

Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good 23 Jun 2013
By moderatelymoderate - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This entry in the Nell Bray series is worth reading for the picture it gives of the 1918 British election, the first one in which women over 30 are allowed to vote. The mystery involved is ok but not exceptional. It didn't leave me with any unanswered questions about the crimes, just no twists.

Has Ms Linscott written about what happened to Nell after this? The 4 books I know of that she wrote after this are about earlier events or not about Nell:
The Perfect Daughter
Dead Man Riding
The Garden
Blood on the Wood
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