Published: 01/10/2012
ISBN: 9781780882772
eISBN: 9781780886572
Format: Paperback/eBook



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Penny Freedman has taught English and Drama in schools, colleges and universities. Her experience as director of English Language courses for overseas students forms the background to her murder myste... read more

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All the Daughters
by Penny Freedman

‘I’d like to ask you some questions about Marina Carson. Can you tell us about her movements yesterday?’
‘Has she had an accident?’ Eleanor Gray asked.
‘I’m sorry to tell you that the family GP found her dead at her home yesterday afternoon.’

In this explosive follow-up to This is a Dreadful Sentence, featuring Gina Gray and DCI Scott, a twelve-year-old girl is killed, pushed down the stairs at her home and beaten over the head with a golf club. Scott leads the investigation and finds himself crossing paths again with Gina, a university lecturer, linguistics expert, harassed daughter, mother and grandmother, and all-round know-all and busybody.

Gina’s daughter, Ellie, was the dead girl’s teacher and when the police suspect her of involvement in the murder, Gina steps into the fray and launches her own parallel investigation. What she lacks in forensic evidence and IT wizardry she makes up for in linguistic acuteness, an extensive network of informants and sheer chutzpah. Scott is determined that she will be kept well away from the inquiry but a serious attempt on her life persuades him to work with her again and together they bring the case to a startling conclusion. Gina’s view of the world is often comic but the crime she unravels is as wicked as it is possible to be.

Penny cites Susan Hill and Kate Atkinson among her inspirations. ‘I love murder mysteries,’ she says, ‘but there aren’t enough good female detectives, and those there are fail to convince as having the kinds of lives most women lead. There’s not enough multi-tasking!’

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Penny Freedman found the idea for 'This is a Dreadful Sentence' when she was teaching English at a college in Kent and noticed a kitchen knife lying on one of the bookshelves in the library. This picture lodged in her mind and came out years later as a new twist on the classic 'body in the library' plot: a foreign student is found stabbed and crushed to death in a college library.

Penny says, 'Once I had my plot, I knew I wanted to create a female sleuth who wasn't a superwoman but a real woman whose life readers would recognise and sympathise with.' And so she created Gina Gray, a forty-something divorcee with two daughters, one a stroppy teenager and the other a single mother frequently looking to Gina to step in and mind the baby. 'I had a picture in my mind,' Penny says, 'of a woman who does her investigating while pushing a baby in a buggy. And however exciting or scary her investigation gets, she still has to fit in trips to the supermarket. I find that readers like Gina because she's real and because she's brave and funny and speaks her mind.'

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