"Where are you going?" asked Knollis, as Brother Ignatius pushed back his chair.
"To try to prevent a murder."
Roger Cartland was a successful and respected business man in Burnham. So all the citizens believe--until his poisoned body is found late one night in the wreckage of his car, and it becomes a case of murder. It is only after Knollis starts his investigations that the startled authorities find that Cartland was not the honest jeweller his advertisements so loudly proclaimed him to be.
When a dash of Brother Ignatius--Knollis's eccentric friend--is added to the story, Vivian followers will know that the resulting mixture is sure to be exhilarating. Expert characterisation, tense and analytical detection and a steady stream of surprises, all make this a first-class mystery.
The Ladies of Locksley was originally published in 1953. 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.