Heads You Lose by Christianna Brand
In the countryside, Inspector Cockrill investigates a wartime beheading
As war rages in Europe, the citizens of London flee to the country. At Pigeonsford, a group of guests plays cards, drinks tea, and acts polite—but Grace Morland knows the strong emotions that lurk beneath the placid social surface. She’s painfully in love with Stephen Pendock, the squire of Pigeonsford, but Pendock’s smitten with young beauty Francesca Hart. One afternoon, Fran debuts a new hat, and Grace’s jealousy gets the better of her. She exclaims, “I wouldn’t be seen dead in a ditch in a thing like that!” She will soon be proven wrong.
Grace is found dead with the hat on her head—and her head removed from her neck. To the scene comes the incomparable Inspector Cockrill, who finds that far more than petty jealousy lies beneath this hideous murder.
“You have to reach for the greatest of Great Names to find Brand’s rivals in the subtleties of the trade.” —New York Times
“One of the great masters of English detective fiction.” —Francis M. Nevins, author of Cornell Woolrich
“[Brand] was ready to jig endlessly with her pieces, to reject and replace until there was not a single gap that her reader would detect.” —H.R.F. Keating, author of Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books
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