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Dead Man Riding (A Nell Bray Mystery) Paperback – 6 Mar 2003

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Paperback, 6 Mar 2003
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'Nell (bright, tough and without illusions) is an appealing and believable heroine.' Donna Leon 'Linscott writes like a rewarding angel' SUNDAY TIMES 'Just the right mix of period detail, character psychology and suspense' EXPRESS

About the Author

Gillian Linscott has been a journalist with the GUARDIAN and Parliamentary Correspondent with the BBC. Two Nell Bray novels have been dramatised on BBC Radio 4.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A strong sense of locale with an ordinary plot 3 Mar 2004
By Larry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Nell Bray, an Oxford student in 1900 has decided to spend a summer holiday with her friends at a classmate's uncle's house in the Lake District. Unfortunately, they discover that the uncle may have inadvertently murdered someone and he is being harassed. When a horse rides onto the farm through an early morning mist with a dead body on it's back, things turn especially ugly.
Gillian Linscott succeeds in bringing the Lake District of a century ago very much alive. The well drawn characters make full use of the landscape as Nell tries to get to the bottom of the murders. However, the story lacks true interest or progression. In a sense, it resonates with the heritage of the countryhouse mystery but without the sense of fun. Overall, a very ordinary effort.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
strong historical mystery 18 Jan 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
At the turn of the twentieth century, Nell Bray attends Somerville College at Oxford University with her best friends Imogen and Midge. The three female pals are also close to Alan, Nathan and Kit. So when Alan invites them to his uncle's home near Skiddow during the summer break, they gratefully accept. Also, going on the trip is Oxford Don Michael Meredith, a brilliant scholar who wants to take part in the group's planned philosophy discussions.
The villagers openly detest Alan's uncle with some believing he is a murderer because he shot at a mob on his property and one of the participants Arthur Mowbry turned up missing. One night when Nell takes a walk, she stumbles upon Alan's uncle's body, which is tied to his horse. Nell desperately wants to believe it was suicide or that someone she doesn't know killed him but she cannot close her mind to the possibility that one of the people she calls a friend is a murderer.
DEAD MAN RIDING is more than just a mystery; it is a story about the friendship and the lives that bind people together. At the same time the background is at a point in history when women realize that they are the equals of men and deserve the same rights. The heroine is the most intellectual of the group because she is determined to obtain answers despite the fact that she might not like them. Gillian Linscott is a talented storyteller who writes outside the sub-genre box.
Harriet Klausner
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By charles falk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
#1's plot summary is generally correct, although she is confused about the time and manner of Nell's discovery of the corpse. I do not agree, however, with her conclusion that Gillian Linscott "writes outside the sub-genre box". I think DEAD MAN RIDING gives the classic English country house mystery an interesting twist while hewing faithfully to its conventions.
Linscott has placed her story in an earlier era -- the last year of Queen Victoria's reign. It begins at a student production of Love's Labour's Lost, a clue to what will happen when an idealistic group of Oxford students set off to spend their summer break studying Plato in rural Cumberland. Not the kind of motivation that usually draws characters in a murder mystery to an English country estate. The country estate is very different too. A rundown house with no spare bedrooms for the guests, with outdoor plumbing, and scant meals of rabbit stew and oatcake.
Linscott showers the reader with clues and suspects galore, in the classic mystery tradition, while obscuring their true import until the very end. Her evocation of Cumberland circa 1901 is brillant and the mind-set of her late-Victorian characters is entirely believable.
I take this to be a prequel to Nell Bray's later adventures as a sleuth. If so, it is a very attractive beginning.
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