It is the spring of 1937 and distinguished economist Lord Benyon is on the Queen Mary, bound for New York. His mission is to persuade President Roosevelt to provide Britain with arms and money if it nters the war with Germany - as seems very likely. Many want the mission to fail and will not stop at murder to achieve their aim. Major Ferguson of Special Branch, a friend of Lord Edward Corinth, asks Edward to keep an unofficial eye on Benyon who refuses to be surrounded by policemen on the Queen Mary, but is prepared to have Edward at his side. Also on board is Verity Browne, travelling to America at the Communist Party's behest to liaise with sympathizers there.
But it is not Lord Benyon who is murdered but the rascist senator from South Carolina who has managed to enrage a number of his fellow passengers - not least Warren Fairley, the black singer, actor and communist. But surely Fairley is too obvious a suspect? Migt not the murderer be the German aeronautical engineer, or Marcus Fern, the city banker who is acting as Benyon's secretary? And what about Bernard Hunt, the art dealer, or even the young American union organiser Sam Forrest, with whom Verity is so taken?
David Roberts was an editor at Chatto and Windus, editorial director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson and a partner of Michael O'Mara Books, before becoming a full-time writer in 2000.His series of crime novels set during the 1930s featuring Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne and optioned by Columbia Pictures include Sweet Poison, Bones of the Buried, Hollow Crown, Dangerous Sea and The More Deceived.He is married and divides his time between London and Wiltshire.
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