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David C. Dawson
A Death in Bloomsbury
Everyone has secrets… but some are fatal. 1932, London. Late one December night Simon Sampson stumbles across the body of a woman in an alleyway. Her death is linked to a plot to assassinate the King on Christmas Day. Simon resolves to do his patriotic duty and unmask the traitors. But Simon Sampson lives a double life. Not only is he a highly respected BBC radio announcer, but he’s also a man who loves men, and as such must live a secret life. His investigation risks revealing his other life and with that imprisonment under Britain’s draconian homophobic laws of the time. He faces a stark choice: his loyalty to the King or his freedom.
Set in 1932 London, this promising series launch from Dawson (The Necessary Deaths) introduces Simon Sampson, who has joined the BBC as a radio news announcer after gaining some celebrity as a crime reporter. While taking a late-night shortcut through an alley, Sampson is startled by a cat, falls down, and spots a woman’s hand sticking out of a pile of rubbish. He digs out the barely breathing woman, who utters the phrase “Curling in cover” before passing out. Sampson leaves her to seek help, but when he returns with a constable, she’s nowhere to be found, and the cop dismisses the faint traces of blood as being from an animal. The stakes rise when Sampson finds a purse near where he saw the woman containing some diagrams labeled in German. The affable Sampson, who must keep the fact that he is gay a secret in an England where his sexual orientation is illegal, pursues the mystery, which takes surprising directions. Dawson keeps readers guessing throughout, and peoples the intelligent plot with believable characters. Whodunit fans will look forward to the sequel. (Self-published)