A Spider in the Cup
By Barbara Cleverly
(Soho Crime, Hardcover, 9781616952884, 336pp.)
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
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At dawn one morning in 1933, an amateur dowsing team digging the banks of the Thames for precious metals unearths the body of a young woman with a priceless gold coin in her mouth and a missing toe. The case falls on Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard Joe Sandilands's turf, but he's been given another assignment—and a very high-profile one. London is hosting a historic global economic conference to try to solve the global Depression, and political tensions are running very high, as very influential participants are starting to take positions allied with or staunchly against the rapidly militarizing Germany. Sandilands's job is to protect and keep an eye on the visiting American senator Cornelius Kingstone, right-hand man to President Roosevelt, throughout the conference. When a strange set of coincidences link the river bank body to the senator, Joe realizes his assignment is much bigger than he'd thought, and that Senator Kingstone is caught up in a very dangerous game—one that might cost not just one but thousands of lives.
Barbara Cleverly was born in the north of England and is a graduate of Durham University. A former teacher, she has spent her working life in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk; she now lives in Cambridge. She has one son and five step-children. She is the author of nine books, including The Last Kashmiri Rose, Strange Images of Death, The Blood Royal, and Not My Blood. Her Joe Sandilands series, set against the background of the Indian Empire, was inspired by the contents of a battered old tin trunk that she found in her attic.
Praise for A Spider in the Cup
"Intricate and intimate, Cleverly’s series melds the whodunit with the political thriller. “A Spider in the Cup” burnishes her bona fides as she once again pulls off a chilling and charming story with an engaging hero, a dose of leavening wit and a keen sense of history."
"Secret societies, economic and political power plays, and assassins on the loose share space in...[an] involving tale, marked by historical, cultural, and literary references, stiff-upper-lip dialogue, and occasionally surprising wittiness."
"A dangerous game set against a roiling historical backdrop."
"Cleverly writes extremely well of the era that she is evoking.... [A Spider in the Cup] explores economic and political tensions of the times."
"[A] suspenseful and intricate tale of honor and betrayal."
Praise for Barbara Cleverly
—New York Times Book Review
"Cleverly's crisp prose and solid cast of supporting characters ... make the book a delight to read."
"Stylish and intricate.... Cleverly has perfect pitch for period and place, whether her hero is unearthing evil in India, England or France."
"A great blood and guts blockbuster."
"The appearance of a Joe Sandilands book is always welcomed by fans of this intelligent and gripping series."
—San Jose Mercury
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org