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Murder at the Villa Byzantine (Country House Crime 6) [Hardcover]

R.T. Raichev
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Feb 2011 Country House Crime 6
What role does the mysterious Miss Hope, former governess to the Bulgarian royal family, play in the bizarre murder at the Villa Byzantine? And does she in fact actually exist? Antonia Darcy and Major Hugh Payne attend a birthday party for one of their Hampstead neighbours, little knowing they will end up investigating the grisly death of one of Melisande Chevret's other guests. The ageing actress becomes a natural suspect when her love rival is killed. But after that first murder, another murder takes place at the Villa Byzantine. The owner of the exotically styled house is royal biographer Tancred Vane, but he swears he is innocent. And surely his new friend Catherine Hope, an elderly lady helping him with his research, can have nothing to do with it? It looks as though the victim's daughter is to blame - but how likely is it that a teenage girl should have a dainty silk handkerchief bearing her monogram? And would she drop it so conveniently beside her mother's dead body?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (24 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849014760
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849014762
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,619,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

R T Raichev is a researcher and writer who grew up in Bulgaria. He has lived in London since 1989 and all his previous titles were published by Constable.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting psychological thriller. 25 Feb 2011
By J. Lesley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Sometimes when I find an author I particularly enjoy reading I look forward to their newest novel, but privately think I will find an old familiar friend when I begin to read. Nothing new, but safe and familiar. That was, indeed, what I expected with this particular book. I have read four other novels by R. T. Raichev so I figured I pretty well knew what I was in for with this novel. I was definitely wrong, but delightfully so! For me the novels written by Raichev epitomize the type of crime novels I enjoy reading so much from the acknowledged masters of the segment of the genre known as 'cozies' except his stories are placed in the present time. His protagonists are the husband and wife team of Antonia Darcy and Major Hugh Payne who happen upon strange cases of murder wherever they go. I have thoroughly enjoyed their investigations so far and expected to sit back and relax with this one. It didn't take me very long at all to see that I was in for a new experience with Murder at the Villa Byzantine.

What I discovered here was a psychological thriller that kept me guessing up to the very minute this talented author decided to let me in on the solution of the case. I never suspected that it would be solved in the manner in which it was, never even considered it. I read many mystery novels and consider myself an observant reader. Believe me, all the clues were there, hidden in plain sight as the saying goes, but I missed them. I loved the characterizations of Melisande Chevret, the actress who is 'resting' between roles and her sister Winifred who spends her days reading books for a publishing firm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and sinister 17 Jan 2012
Another absorbing caper from R. T. Raichev, and one that conforms deliciously to the author's track-record of wit, elegance and ingenuity. As befits the novel's title, the tortuous windings of the plot tease and intrigue, while in true Raichev style the characters amuse with their unsettling mix of the dotty and the deadly. Normality is represented by the likeable sleuths, novelist Antonia Darcy and her stalwart soldier husband Major Payne, whose stiff upper lip is likened to being plumped with Novacaine. The two pursue their 'researches' with cheery laconic grit, unravelling the oddities of human nature, the murky secrets of the Villa Byzantine and the linked discrepancy between the decorous and the macabre. At one point one of the characters refers nervously to sleeping bags looking like body bags - and in some way the analogy captures the ethos of Raichev's novels: the discomforting fusion of the peculiar and the prosaic, the fatal masquerading as the mundane. As with the whole series, Murder at the Villa Byzantine is written with verve, intelligence and sharp
sly humour . . . and beneath the humour there lurks a disturbing uncanny truth!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GEM OF A SERIES 29 May 2011
This is the 6th and, in my opinion, the most accomplished of R.T. Raichev's Antonia Darcy and Major Payne investigations. It is compulsively readable, combining an intricate plot with interesting characters and extremely amusing dialogue. To my mind, the book brings to mind the best of Ngaio Marsh's comedy of manners, Agatha Christie's unguessable whodunits and Hitchcock's suspense. NB The chapter on the Bulgarian royal family (Vie de Chateau)is an absolute delight, even if it is found to be lacking in historical accuracy. Highly reccommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Murder at the Villa Byzantine by R. T. Raichev 15 Aug 2014
By Keith
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Murder at the Villa Byzantine by R. T. Raichev is an Antonia Darcy and Hugh Payne mystery and is very good.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 5 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this
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