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A Spider in the Cup by Barbara Cleverly

imagesI continue my passion for reading World War 1 novels with a foray into the Joe Sandilands series by Barbara Cleverly, reading A Spider in the Cup. While it’s the 11th title in the series, the novel can be read as a stand-alone. Scotland Yard is such a rich venue for detective fiction and Cleverly’s Joe Sandilands series mines the yard’s traditions very well. The novel opens with a dead body found on the shores of the Thames with an ancient coin in her mouth. Then the somewhat conventional police procedure turns into an espionage story complete with a stint in revolutionary Russia. Spider in the Cup is a good light read with excellent historical background. I will delve further into the series. Barbara Cleverly is a British author and a former teacher who is known for her Detective Joe Sandilands Mystery series, of which she has written eleven books, and her Laetitia Talbot Mystery series. Cleverly received the Crime Writers Association Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award in 2004. The Last Kashmiri Rose was a New York Times Notable Book. She currently lives in Cambridge, England.

Amy P.

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