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About Clara Benson
Clara Benson is the author of the Angela Marchmont Mysteries and Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures - traditional English whodunits in authentic style set in the 1920s and 30s. One day she would like to drink cocktails and solve mysteries in a sequinned dress and evening gloves. In the meantime she lives in the north of England with her family and doesn't do any of those things.
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BOOKS BY CLARA BENSON
ANGELA MARCHMONT MYSTERIES
1. The Murder at Sissingham Hall
2. The Mystery at Underwood House
3. The Treasure at Poldarrow Point
4. The Riddle at Gipsy's Mile
5. The Incident at Fives Castle
6. The Imbroglio at the Villa Pozzi
7. The Problem at Two Tithes
8. The Trouble at Wakeley Court
9. The Scandal at 23 Mount Street
10. The Shadow at Greystone Chase
ANGELA MARCHMONT SHORT STORIES
- The Man on the Train
- A Question of Hats
FREDDY PILKINGTON-SOAMES ADVENTURES
1. A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia
2. A Case of Murder in Mayfair
3. A Case of Conspiracy in Clerkenwell
4. A Case of Duplicity in Dorset
5. A Case of Suicide in St. James's
6. A Case of Robbery on the Riviera
7. A Case of Perplexity in Piccadilly
- In Darkness, Look For Stars
- The Stolen Letter
- The Lucases of Lucas Lodge
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Titles By Clara Benson
The cast of Septimus's latest musical production at the Jollity Theatre are having none of it, however—this is the second mysterious death in two months, and they're convinced Septimus died after being frightened out of his wits by the ghost that's haunted the theatre ever since it burned to the ground many years ago. A malevolent spirit is on the loose, striking them down one by one. Which of them will be next?
Press-man Freddy Pilkington-Soames was backstage at the Jollity on the night Septimus died. He doesn't believe in ghosts, but he knows a suspicious death when he sees one—and when a third person dies there's no doubt this time that a human hand was behind it.
Freddy's fending off the attentions of several chorus-girls at once, so has his own distractions to contend with. But murder's no joke, and he'll do anything he can to catch the killer before the whole production falls apart.
After all, the show must go on.
Italy, 1944: Stella stared at the envelope addressed to her, dated from the day of his death. With a trembling hand she opened it, tears rolling down her cheeks. She read the letter that should have made it to her years ago – the letter that had been ruthlessly stolen from her. It held his last words, and it changed everything.
1938: When Stella arrives in Italy, it’s love at first sight. She is wowed by the rolling hills dotted with olive trees, the buttermilk villas with shuttered windows and terracotta roofs that glow gloriously in the sunlight. Even the breeze holds the scent of freedom – freedom from England, where the shadow of her past haunted her.
Then there is Ted, an American journalist who is wild and mischievous, with an arrogance bordering on rude. Stella is infuriated by him – yet she cannot deny the lure of the danger and excitement he promises.
But there is something dark under the bright surface of this beautiful country, with unspeakable tragedies just around the corner. When the Nazis take control of Italy, Stella and Ted – and whatever dreams the future held for them – are ripped apart. Ted is torn away, to report from the perilous frontline. Meanwhile, Stella is paralysed with fear as screeching bombs descend, destroying everything in their wake. There is nothing left to do but sit in darkness, praying to see tomorrow.
And it seems that even in Italy, Stella’s past has found her. Somewhere in the winding streets of Florence there is a letter that will change the course of her fate. Unknown to her, it holds a secret with the power to rewrite her past, and everything she has been running away from. But will it come too late? And with the odds stacked against her, will she ever see Ted again?
This totally gripping and heartbreaking tale is about the impossible tragedies of war and the miraculous possibilities of love. Fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, Rhys Bowen’s The Tuscan Child, and The Letter by Kathryn Hughes will be utterly captivated by this spectacular historical page-turner.
Readers absolutely love The Stolen Letter:
‘Oh my word I honestly cannot express how much I loved this book. A historical-fiction book that was just simply brilliant. The story and the characters were fantastic and I read this book in one day it was that good. I will be recommending this book to everyone who loves reading, it is a must-read.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Breathtaking and heartbreakingly beautiful… Be prepared to go on a very emotional journey where your heart will be ripped out and patched up over and over again. The characters are captivating and relatable. The twists and turns throughout the story are truly unforgettable. Clara Benson is an author that I would love to read over and over again.
It's fair to say that Freddy Pilkington-Soames is not having a good day. His grandmother is threatening to marry a lounge lizard, his old friend has lost her lover, a racehorse has been kidnapped, a priceless diamond has gone missing, and everybody seems to think he should sort it all out.
(Oh, and there's a dead body on the terrace.)
Now Freddy's on the sunny French Riviera, caught in the crossfire of a feud between an audacious thief he's locked horns with before and a murderous gang who will stop at nothing to get what they want. He'd keep his head down if he could, but there are questions that need answering. Who took the diamond? Who is double-crossing whom? And is his grandmother's intended quite all he seems?
(And where did that dead body go?)
A political scandal at the highest level is looming and the future of an international conference hangs in the balance, and once again it's up to Freddy to save the day—in more ways than one.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I was completely hooked.’ Goodreads Reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘One of the best books I have read.’ Goodreads Reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐‘Fantastic… My heart was in my mouth.’ Shaz’s Book Blog
Paris, 1941: Going against her mother’s orders, spirited Maggie devotes herself to the Resistance. Her life is a whirlwind of forged passports and secret midnight runs, helping Jews escape Paris, which grows more dangerous by the day. Under the cloak of darkness, she bids farewell to fellow fighter Emil, who flees the city with the Nazis hot on his heels.
Emil is bound for Maggie’s sister, Cecilia, hundreds of miles away in the south of France. Innocent and shy Cecilia is shocked to the core when Emil turns up, seeking refuge. Up until now, she has lived a sheltered existence: wild and dangerous Emil turns her world upside down. She risks everything to protect him and soon puts her life on the line to aid the secret work of the Resistance.
As each day passes and the war rages on, Cecilia cannot help being drawn to Emil. But as the Nazis close in on them, she faces a terrible choice. Exactly how far is she willing to go for love? And will she be able to live with herself, whatever choice she makes?
An evocative, riveting and stirring tale about the tragic realities of war, the fine line between loyalty and lies, and the power of love, even in the darkest of times. Fans of The Nightingale, The Letter and All The Light We Cannot See will be spellbound by this magnificent historical novel.
Readers absolutely love In Darkness, Look for Stars:
‘Amazing… One of my favourite stories... A brilliant story that is full of twists and turns… I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the whole time… A must-read.’ Chells and Books, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Oh my word, this was definitely an emotive and additive read, and then some… I felt myself well up… I fully immersed myself in the story and I knew that nothing much would be done for the rest of the day as I would be too busy reading!... I was too hooked… Superbly written… I became so emotionally involved with certain characters that every time they felt pain, I felt pain… The author uses such vivid and realistic descriptions that I actually felt as though I was part of the story myself.’ Ginger Book Geek, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Amazing… I truly loved this book… Clara Benson does a masterful job of bringing her characters to life… Fans of All the Light We Cannot See will thoroughly enjoy this book.’ Historically Yours, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Stirring, captivating and electrifying… So poignant it could sever readers’ he
Aided by the house's elderly owner, an irrepressible twelve-year-old, and a handsome Scotland Yard detective, Angela soon finds herself embroiled in the most perplexing of mysteries. Who is the author of the anonymous letters? Why is someone breaking into the house at night? And is it really true that a notorious jewel-thief is after the treasure too? Angela must use all her powers of deduction to solve the case and find the necklace—before someone else does.