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Sister Beneath The Sheet (Nell Bray Mysteries) Paperback – 27 Aug 1992

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Paperback, 27 Aug 1992

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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 and ABSENT FRIENDS was the winner of the CWA/Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
France, 1910s 8 July 2009
By Lyn Reese - Published on
Format: Paperback
Here is a politically astute detective who is an active fighter for the rights of English women to vote. Nell Bray is sent by Emmeline Pankhurst to the fashionable French resort of Biarritz to claim the sizable legacy left to the movement in the will of a high class prostitute, Topaz Brown. The fact that Topaz had never expressed an interest in Nell's movement and that her death is suspect, means that Nell must seek out the truth behind Topaz's life. When it becomes clear that Topaz has been killed, Nell begins the dangerous task of tracking down the suspects, who run the gamut from circus performers to the judge who once sentenced Nell to time in prison.

The story accurately describes the disdain and even hatred of the general public against the idea of women getting the vote, and against the militant suffragettes in particular. Nell, one of the so called "vengeful viragos," is, in fact, fresh from spending time in Holloway prison for tossing a brick through the window of 10 Dowing Street. In this story, however, in the interest of winning public opinion to the suffrage cause, she must try and thwart the destructive plans of a fellow reformer.

This is book number two in a series of ten featuring the author's suffragette detective. We wish the author had provided background information. On the author's Web page, however, we found this excerpt where Gillian Linscott lets Nell Bray speak for herself. "....While I was growing up, we'd always assumed that by the time I reached voting age, the suffrage would have been extended to women. When it became obvious that this was not going to happen I knew that any career or personal ambitions must give way to this struggle. I set myself up as a freelance translator to get enough money to live on and joined the most militant and effective of the groups fighting for the Vote, the Women's Social and Political Union, soon after it was founded by Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Edwardian Era Mystery 5 July 2012
By jerelyn - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sister Beneath the Sheets, is the first book in the Nell Bray mystery series by Gillian Linscott. Linscott is currently writing as Caro Peacock. The Nell Bray books were written in the 1990's, so I am a bit late coming to them. But what I love when I stumble upon a new to me author is to find a juicy back list.

Nell Bray is a front line suffragette, an intelligent no nonsense solider in the cause for woman's rights. Having just been released from a stint in Holloway prison, Nell is asked to travel to Biarritz to see to an unexpected bequest left to The Woman's Social and Political Union. But there is a problem; firstly, the woman who left this bequest was a famous courtesan who committed suicide just hours after drawing up the will. Secondly, the courtesan one Topaz Brown's family is contesting the will, and thirdly, if it wasn't suicide, who killed Topaz Brown?

Gillian Linscott is a great story teller, she writes wonderful strong women characters. She understands the politics of the time, and imparts this knowledge with an even hand; I also feel she conveys the mind set of her characters just as evenly. I just can't say how much I admire her, and I recommend these books to anyone who loves mysteries, and those interested in the suffragette movement and the late Edwardian age. 4.5 stars
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