A classically arresting mystery, overflowing with good old fashioned pluck, courage and perseverance. The third in the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries, this can also be read as a vintage standalone novel. In a bygone era, Mirabelle and her feisty cohort Vesta often outpace their male companions and are far ahead of their time. This is such an authentic read, Brighton in the early 50’s is as much a character in the book as the investigators themselves. The author acknowledges how frustrating research and inquiries can be with the last piece of the jigsaw often remaining just out of sight. With some formidable detective work as well as some particularly perilous moments, this is a first rate read. ~ Liz Robinson
We loved the first in this post WW2 series, Brighton Belle, and the second adventure is even better with a satisfyingly complex plot bubbling over with period detail. Mirabelle and Vesta go up the line to London to solve the case of a missing debutante after a childhood friend of Vesta’s is held by the police. Nostalgic, atmospheric, well written, crime fiction with a fantastic central character - ex Secret Service office girl Mirabelle Bevan. Highly recommended. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'I read the script for London Calling in one sitting at my kitchen table over the course of a single evening. Sara just pulled me into the world of wintry post-war London, seedy jazz clubs and a missing heiress. During editing Sara and I had many conversations about everything from car models and radio shows to rail travel, pies and shoes. No detail is too small for Sara, she really is obsessed with getting things absolutely right for the period of London Calling. As a result her writing evokes the early 1950s impeccably, creating wonderful atmosphere and the perfect background to Mirabelle Bevan, a deeply engaging woman with a past.' ~Alison Rae, Managing Editor, Polygon
The ‘Mirabelle Bevan Mystery’ series continues to maintain the same convincing atmosphere and assured quality, yet with each book the author skilfully delivers a refreshingly different read. ‘British Bulldog’ is set in the early 50’s, a year after ‘England Expects’ and the Second World War still holds a formidable grip on Mirabelle’s life. As Mirabelle walks through the streets, you feel as though you are pacing alongside her, the 50’s comes to life and allows you to experience a Brighton, London and Paris from the past. The war years cast a daunting shadow, particularly over the women in this novel, haunting and tormenting thoughts and feelings. The background investigation hooks your interest, and when the action kicks in, it does so with a ferocious intensity. This is wonderful escapism and an extremely readable, intriguing blend of history, action and mystery. ~ Liz Robinson
'Feisty, intelligent and charming' James Runcie, author of the The Grantchester Mysteries 1951, Brighton. With the war over and the Nazis brought to justice at Nuremberg, Mirabelle Bevan (retired Whitehall secretary) thinks her skills are no longer required. After her lover's death she retires to the seaside to put the past behind her and takes a job at a debt collection agency run by the charismatic Big Ben McGuigan. But when the case of Romana Laszlo - a pregnant Hungarian refugee - comes in, Mirabelle soon discovers that her specialist knowledge is vital. With enthusiastic assistance from insurance clerk Vesta Churchill, they follow a mysterious trail of gold sovereigns and corpses that only they can unravel. 'Beneath that prim exterior lies a fearless, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of gal. One part Nancy Drew, two parts Jessica Fletcher, Mirabelle has a dogged tenacity to rival Poirot' Sunday Herald
1955. When Mirabelle Bevan is rescued from a fire at her home on the Brighton seafront she's lucky to escape unharmed - but the blaze takes the life of her neighbour, Dougie Beaumont, a dashing and successful racing driver living in the flat above. It soon becomes clear that this was arson, raising questions about the young man's death that Mirabelle can't resist investigating further. With her curiosity piqued and on the trail of a potential killer she finds herself taking on the mysterious world of Fleet Street with its long lunches and dodgy deals as well as the glamorous motor racing world at Goodwood. It gradually becomes clear to Mirabelle that Dougie Beaumont's life was not as above-board as it first seemed and that this talented man had many secrets, hidden when he was alive by his international lifestyle where he was constantly on the move. Then, when a second shocking murder takes place, Mirabelle's pursuit is frustrated first by Dougie's well-connected and suspicious family and then by the official investigation - led by her would-be lover Superintendent McGregor. With the help of her colleague at McGuigan & McGuigan Debt Recovery, Vesta, and some of her ex-intelligence service connections, Mirabelle discovers the dark secrets of the glamorous racing driver have ramifications far beyond the English coastline.
Brighton 1956 When Mirabelle's on-off boyfriend, Superintendent Alan McGregor, is taken off a gruesome murder case because the key suspect is an old school friend, Mirabelle steps in to unravel the tangle of poisoned gin, call girls and high stakes gambling that surrounds the death. It isn't long before McGregor's integrity is called into question and Mirabelle finds herself doubting him. So when a wartime hero's body turns up on the Sussex Downs, she is glad that McGregor is caught up in a mystery of his own as Brighton's establishment closes ranks. Mirabelle is in a dangerous situation though and she doesn't have McGregor watching her back on this one. And when the dead man on the Downs turns out to have been a member of a deadly thrillseekers club, related to the earlier murder, Mirabelle is determined to uncover the truth and free the innocent people who are bearing the brunt of the cover up. As her relationship with McGregor reaches breaking point, she has to draw on all her wartime experience to stand up for what she believes in - even if it means their relationship may not survive. 'With sharp blows delivered for gender and racial equality, Sheridan's story builds to a chilling climax' Daily Mail 'This consistently impressive series is a kind of hard-boiled cosy , combining an emphasis on atmosphere and the lives of the recurring characters with a stern eye for post-war strugges against inequality and deference' Morning Star
Brighton,1957 Mirabelle Bevan can't resist a cry for help, be it the little girl at a seaside sanatorium who is getting bullied or the strange behaviour of Uma, the Indian nurse who is looking after her. Intrigued she soon finds herself drawn into a spider's web of connections between an upmarket brothel, local priest Father Grogan, a man's body washed up on Brighton beach and a missing nursing sister. Attracted to handsome police doctor, Chris Williams, Mirabelle is determined to finally put her love affair with Jack Duggan behind her and recover from the betrayal of Superintendent Alan McGregor, but the police force in Brighton is undergoing a sea change that keeps leading her back to the sanatorium at the epicentre of a spate of brutal killings. And very soon it becomes apparent Mirabelle is in much more danger than she realises... 'With sharp blows delivered for gender and racial equality, Sheridan's story builds to a chilling climax' Daily Mail
Scottish Highlands, 1958 Britain is awash in Cold War anxiety as Mirabelle Bevan heads for the Highlands on a holiday to visit Superintendent Alan McGregor's family. More glamorous than she expected, the Robertsons welcome her with open arms and an array of cocktails, but she has scarcely arrived when the body of an American fashion buyer turns up brutally murdered, plunging the local village into disarray and sending shockwaves around the close, Highland community. Mirabelle can't resist investigating, but what she finds lays the limitations of her feelings for McGregor bare and calls into question the loyalties of all those around her from the Robertson's housekeeper Mrs Gillies to the family of the dead woman. What started as a relaxing break in scenic surroundings soon spirals into a week fraught with danger. As the press descend on the Robertson's Highland estate, it rapidly becomes clear that things are not as black and white as they first appeared and Mirabelle can't count on anyone . . . Praise for Sara Sheridan: 'Sara Sheridan never fails to surprise. Unfailingly stylish, undeniably smart, Miss Bevan is destined to bring the exploits of the past to the best-seller lists of the present' - Daily Record 'Beautifully realised vivid characters, both heroes and villains, the atmospheric Brighton setting and plot that zipped along at a lovely pace left me in no doubt that Sara Sheridan and Mirabelle Bevan are a crime force to be reckoned with' - Goodreads 'Beneath that prim exterior lies a fearless, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of gal. One part Nancy Drew, two parts Jessica Fletcher, Mirabelle has a dogged tenacity to rival Poirot' - Sunday Herald