Cover image for The perfect daughter
The perfect daughter
Linscott, Gillian.
Personal Author:
First St. Martin's Minotaur edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2001.

Physical Description:
308 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Nell Bray mystery"--Jacket.
Format :


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"She was the perfect daughter before you got to her."Summer 1914.In her family's eyes, Verona North was all a girl should be at nineteen-talented, brave, and attractive, with the world opening out in front of her.But only a few months after leaving home to study art in London, she was found hanging in the family boathouse-dead from an apparent suicide. It seems that their perfect daughter had plunged rapidly from respectability to drugs, depravity, and left-wing politics.To her father, a respectable naval officer, there is no doubt who's to blame-his cousin the suffragette, Nell Bray.Nell is sure she's not responsible, yet a sense of guilt at not having paid more attention to the young girl sets her on a trail to discover what really happened in the weeks leading up to Verona's death. Nell's search takes her from an enclave of Bohemian anarchists in Chelsea to an old, run-down shop full of mysterious sea charts and maps.Piecing together clues, Nell soon discovers that Verona was leading a double life full of dangerous secrets.Was her death really a suicide, or a cover-up for murder?AUTHORBIO: GILLIAN LINSCOTT worked as a journalist for the Guardian and the BBC before turning to full-time crime writing.Assignments ranged from riots in Northern Ireland to the press gallery of the House of Commons.Absent Friends, her eighth book featuring the suffragette sleuth Nell Bray, was the winner of the 2000 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this ninth, engaging Nell Bray mystery (after 1999's Absent Friends), set in England on the eve of WWI, suffragettes clash with police, prison inmates are hunger-striking and immigrants from various suspect countries endure harassment, while a community of aesthetes and artists tries to remain above it all. Amidst the political chaos, feminist crusader and freelance gumshoe Nell finds the body of her cousin, Verona North, hanging in the family boathouse. While Nell feels no remorse at her self-absorbed young cousin's demise, the swiftly delivered verdict of suicide smells fishy to her. Nell's ensuing investigation entangles her with opium eaters, socialists and socialites; the closer she gets to penetrating the heart of Verona's mystery, the more bewildering her chase becomes. Was her young cousin really the pure and troubled young woman of her parents' memories? Or was she involved in some dangerous business that ended in her elimination by dark forces unknown? Linscott effortlessly creates the atmosphere of prewar Britain, with its combination of excitement and innocence that, like Verona's, is just about to be cut short forever. Her characters are vivid and appealing, especially Nell herself, whose wry tone keeps her first-person narration from becoming self-righteous. This is an intelligent and exciting story, by an author with both a deft touch and a mischievous voice. (Apr. 16) FYI: Absent Friends won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger and the Herodotus Award from the Historical Mystery Appreciation Society for the Best International Historical Mystery of 1999. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Early 20th-century feminism is the backdrop for this latest installment in a well-regarded series. Nell Bray is an ardent suffragette who finds herself solving murder mysteries. It's the summer of 1914 (Sarajevo has not yet happened), and Nell's distant cousin Verona North is 19, lovely and intelligent, a perfect daughter. Just a few months after she comes to London to study art, Verona is found hanging in the family boathouse a suicide. Her father put the blame on Nell, saying her bad influence led Verona to embrace left-wing politics and drugs. Nell thinks differently and sets out to prove that someone killed her cousin. With the help of her barrister Bill Musgrave, she investigates Verona's recent activities and finds that this daughter wasn't quite what her parents thought. It is easy to listen to narrator Lin Sagovsky's reading: her diction is clear, and the pacing is just right. A good choice for public library collections. Nann Blaine Hilyard, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.