The Ely Testament

The Ely Testament

By Philip Gooden

Severn House Publishers, Hardcover, 9780727881038, 233pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2012


"Third in the highly-acclaimed nineteenth-century Cathedral mystery series "When Mr Lye, an elderly partner at Tom Ansell's law firm, drops dead at his desk, Tom is dispatched to Ely to search for Mr Lye's will at Phoenix House, the home of his brother, Ernest. At the same time, Tom's wife Helen has been commissioned by "New Moon "magazine to write a piece on a town with inner beauty and what better place than Ely? But shortly after they arrive at Phoenix House, their host is arrested for murder and Tom and Helen find themselves at the centre of an ever-deepening mystery.

About the Author
Philip Gooden read English at Magdalen College, Oxford, and then taught at secondary level for many years. In 2001 he became a full-time writer. He is the author of the Nick Revill series, a sequence of historical mysteries based in Elizabethan London and set around Shakespeare's Globe theatre. Titles so far published are Sleep of Death, Death of Kings, The Pale Companion (shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award in 2002), Alms for Oblivion, Mask of Night and An Honourable Murderer. A contributor to various short story anthologies, Philip Gooden also works as an editor, most recently on the Mammoth Book of Literary Anecdotes and a new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World for Penguin Classics. He has also written the popular Who's Whose?: A No-Nonsense Guide to Easily-Confused Words, published by Bloomsbury. He lives in Bath where he is currently working on the first in a new series of historical novels.

Praise For The Ely Testament


Set in 1874, Gooden’s competent third whodunit featuring London attorney Tom Ansell (after 2011’s The Durham Deception) takes its time getting to the bloodshed, but intriguing flashbacks to 1645 concerning a murder during the English Civil War maintain the suspense. When Alexander Lye, an elderly partner in the law firm Tom recently joined, dies suddenly at his desk, it appears, ironically, that he may have died intestate. In search of a possible last will and testament left with Ernest Lye, the deceased’s half-brother, Tom sets out for Cambridge, accompanied by his journalist wife, Helen, who has decided to write a magazine article about the nearby cathedral city of Ely. The resolution of the elder Lye’s legacies is complicated by Ernest’s arrest for murder soon after Tom and Helen arrive in Cambridge. Solid prose and appealing characters compensate for a melodramatic twist near the end that dissipates some of the mystery

-Martin Edwards