The Return of Captain John Emmett

The Return of Captain John Emmett

By Elizabeth Speller

Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547737409, 448pp.

Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Intriguing . . . a captivating wartime whodunit. "Boston Globe"
London, 1920. In the aftermath of the Great War and a devastating family tragedy, Laurence Bartram has turned his back on the world. But with a well-timed letter, an old flame manages to draw him back in. Mary Emmett's brother John like Laurence, an officer during the war has apparently killed himself while in the care of a remote veterans hospital, and Mary needs to know why.
Aided by his friend Charles a dauntless gentleman with detective skills cadged from mystery novels Laurence begins asking difficult questions. What connects a group of war poets, a bitter feud within Emmett's regiment, and a hidden love affair? Was Emmett's death really a suicide, or the missing piece in a puzzling series of murders? As veterans tied to Emmett continue to turn up dead, and Laurence is forced to face the darkest corners of his war experiences, his own survival may depend on uncovering the truth.
An elegant, moving read. "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

About the Author
ELIZABETH SPELLER studied Classics at Cambridge. She has written for various publications, and has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Birmingham, and Bristol. She divides her life between Gloucestershire and Greece.

Praise For The Return of Captain John Emmett

"Laurence Bartram is a young widower grappling not only with the loss of his young wife and infant son but also with a return to normalcy after his service in World War I when he receives a letter from Mary Emmett, the sister of a boyhood friend, asking him to look into her brother’s supposed suicide. He is as intrigued by Mary herself as he is by her letter, and his investigations uncover a series of crimes and help Laurence confront his own horrendous memories of the war. An absorbing mystery set in postwar London, Speller’s literary debut is brimming with historical details of the period and doesn’t shy away from war’s atrocities. There are many references to British writers and poets that the average American reader may not be familiar with, and the myriad names of officers and soldiers may be confusing. VERDICT World War I history buffs will enjoy this mystery, as will fans of period pieces set in London. Readers who like Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series will enjoy this as well." [Previewed in M.M. Adjarian’s genre spotlight, "Dispatches from the Edge," <LJ 4/15/11.—Ed.] —Julie Pierce, Fort Myers–Lee County P.L., Florida -- Library Journal

"Elegant, engrossing read."-- Publishers Weekly "Elegantly written anti-war saga."-- Kirkus