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“It is in particular stories of war that we are forced to see the cost of one life lost and how that loss effects so many others. Speller's novel of the aftermath of World War I is such a story. After his military service has ended, John Emmett is found dead, an apparent suicide. His grieving sister Mary calls on Laurence Bartram, an old schoolmate, to help her understand what has happened. As he delves into the circumstances, Bartram realizes that others involved with Emmett in a disturbing wartime event have also died violently. This is a compelling story with a sympathetic protagonist who finds that there are seldom easy answers, few happy endings, and no good wars.”
— Laura Keys, Blue Elephant Book Shop Inc., Decatur, GA
"Laurence Bartram is a young widower grappling not only with the loss of his young wife and infant son but also with a return to normalcy after his service in World War I when he receives a letter from Mary Emmett, the sister of a boyhood friend, asking him to look into her brother’s supposed suicide. He is as intrigued by Mary herself as he is by her letter, and his investigations uncover a series of crimes and help Laurence confront his own horrendous memories of the war. An absorbing mystery set in postwar London, Speller’s literary debut is brimming with historical details of the period and doesn’t shy away from war’s atrocities. There are many references to British writers and poets that the average American reader may not be familiar with, and the myriad names of officers and soldiers may be confusing. VERDICT World War I history buffs will enjoy this mystery, as will fans of period pieces set in London. Readers who like Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series will enjoy this as well." [Previewed in M.M. Adjarian’s genre spotlight, "Dispatches from the Edge," <LJ 4/15/11.—Ed.] —Julie Pierce, Fort Myers–Lee County P.L., Florida -- Library Journal"Elegant, engrossing read."-- Publishers Weekly "Elegantly written anti-war saga."-- Kirkus