Cover image for Blood on the wood : [a Nell Bray mystery]
Blood on the wood : [a Nell Bray mystery]
Linscott, Gillian.
Personal Author:
First St. Martin's Minotaur edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2004.

Physical Description:
311 pages ; 22 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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When the suffragette movement is bequeathed a valuable painting by campaigner Philomena Venn, suffragette and amateur sleuth Nell Bray agrees to retrieve it. The plan is simple: Collect the picture from Philomena's widower, Oliver, take it to Christie's, and sell it to raise much-needed funds. But Nell is in for a surprise when she returns from the Vennes' home in the Cotswolds: The painting he has given her is a fake
When Oliver refuses to hand over the real painting, his son, political activist Daniel Venn, suggests an alternative plan to Nell: Why doesn't she break into the house and switch the paintings? Against her better judgment she agrees, and in the process she uncovers a far more serious crime---a brutal murder in which she is now personally embroiled. . . .
Once again, Gillian Linscott guides her delightfully starchy heroine through the politics, personalities, and perils of early twentieth-century England.

Author Notes

Gillian Linscott worked as a journalist for the Guardian and the BBC before turning to full-time crime writing. Her previous novels, featuring the suffragette detective Nell Bray, have won her the CWA/Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2000 and the Herodotus Award for Best International Historical Mystery Novel.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Intrepid British suffragette Nell Bray has her hands full when she accepts what seems to be a straightforward assignment. A wealthy benefactor has bequeathed a valuable French painting to the suffragettes, and Nell must claim it and bring it back to London. She heads for the Venn estate in the Cotswolds, which turns out to be a kind of socialist summer camp. After she obtains the painting and takes it to Christies for auction, however, she learns that it is a copy recently commissioned by the bereaved widower. Then, when he refuses to part with the original, Nell decides to break into the house and switch paintings. Doing so lands her in the middle of a murder investigation. Readers will soak up fascinating detail about the Fabians, the Scipians, and the Arts and Crafts Movement while following the action in this delightful romp through England at the turn of the century. The eleventh Nell Bray adventure finds the feisty heroine in top form. --Barbara Bibel Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

British author Linscott's solid historical series (Dead Man Riding, etc.) seldom portrays English suffragette Nell Bray breaking the law, even when the law is wrong, but at the start of this nifty tale of love, deceit and socialism, Nell finds herself explaining to a constable that she entered wealthy widower Oliver Venn's country house in the middle of the night "to steal a picture." She just so happened to stumble on a corpse while doing so. The late Philomena Venn bequeathed to the Women's Social and Political Union a valuable French painting, a less famous version of Boucher's La Blonde Odalisque at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. She also left a bereaved husband, a niece who makes and sells handcrafted furniture and a nephew who collects and preserves folk music, in addition to a legacy of socialist activism involving a Fabian splinter group, the Scipians. When Bray's initial foray to claim the Odalisque musters only a forgery, she must return to sort things out and ends up trying to aid a man engaged to two women simultaneously. The author's adept characterizations and understated use of the mores, customs, fads and manners of early 20th-century Britain make for an engrossing combination. Add to that a murder that appears both cruel and senseless, a suitably suspenseful chase and a highly satisfactory denouement, and one has another first-rate entertainment. (May 12) FYI: Linscott's eighth Nell Bray novel, Absent Friends, won the 2000 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

After Edwardian British suffragette Bray discovers that a valuable painting bequeathed to the suffragettes is fake, she breaks into the owner's house to substitute the fake for the real. When she does, she chances upon murder. A good choice for historical fans. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Praise forGillian Linscott's Nell Bray Mysteries
""Nell Bray novels always charm with their easy mix of politics and passion.""
The Poisoned Pen ""Superb. . . . Linscott has combined a wonderful cast of characters with a clever, unexpected resolution.""
Publishers Weekly on Dead Man Riding (starred review)
""Linscott captures the tenor of the times . . . and presents a complex puzzle with an original solution
Well done.""
Kirkus Reviews on Dead Man Riding (starred review)
""Linscott depicts human natu