Grayson tipped back his head, and stared at the ceiling. Herby was certainly not liked, but who on earth, apart from himself, hated him sufficiently to think of murder?
As he waits for the Norfolk-bound train to steam from its London terminus, Brother Ignatius experiences a strange premonition. Quite suddenly he knows that a man on the platform will shortly come to join him in his compartment and that their lives will become inextricably linked. Together they travel to Norfolk, and within hours the stranger comes under suspicion of murder.
Superintendent Knollis arrives from Scotland Yard to investigate. Knollis soon finds that local loyalties are strewing his path with thorns and that, under the seal of Confession, Brother Ignatius cannot tell all he knows. It is a problem that calls for psychological as well as deductive reasoning--and Inspector Knollis, supported by the trusty Sergeant Ellis, is on the case!
Darkling Death was originally published in 1956. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
"Francis Vivian skips all tedious preliminaries and is commendably quick off the mark; we meet his characters with lively pleasure." Observer
"Mr. Vivian neatly fits everything in its place." Times Literary Supplement
Francis Vivian was born Arthur Ernest Ashley in 1906 at East Retford, Nottinghamshire. He was the younger brother of noted photographer Hallam Ashley. Vivian laboured for a decade as a painter and decorator before becoming an author of popular fiction in 1932. In 1940 he married schoolteacher Dorothy Wallwork, and the couple had a daughter. After the Second World War he became assistant editor at the Nottinghamshire Free Press and circuit lecturer on many subjects, ranging from crime to bee-keeping (the latter forming a major theme in the Inspector Knollis mystery The Singing Masons). A founding member of the Nottingham Writers' Club, Vivian once awarded first prize in a writing competition to a young Alan Sillitoe, the future bestselling author. The ten Inspector Knollis mysteries were published between 1941 and 1956. In the novels, ingenious plotting and fair play are paramount. A colleague recalled that 'the reader could always arrive at a correct solution from the given data. Inspector Knollis never picked up an undisclosed clue which, it was later revealed, held the solution to the mystery all along.' Francis Vivian died on April 2, 1979 at the age of 73.