Unruly Son

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Pan Macmillan, Feb 14, 2013 - Fiction - 192 pages
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First published in 1979, Unruly Son received an Edgar Award nomination for “Best Novel” of the year.

Sir Oliver Fairleigh-Stubbs, overweight and overbearing, collapses and dies at his birthday party while indulging his taste for rare liquors. He had promised his daughter he would be polite and charitable for the entire day, but the strain of such exemplary behaviour was obviously too great. He leaves a family relieved to be rid of him, and he also leaves a fortune, earned as a bestselling mystery author.

To everyone’s surprise, Sir Oliver’s elder son, who openly hated his father, inherits most of the estate. His wife, his daughter, and his younger son are each to receive the royalties from one carefully chosen book. But the manuscript of the unpublished volume left to Sir Oliver’s wife—a posthumous “last case” that might be worth millions—has disappeared. And Sir Oliver’s death is beginning to look less than natural.

Into this bitter household comes Inspector Meredith, a spirited Welshman who in some ways resembles Sir Oliver’s fictional hero. In Robert Barnard’s skilful hands, Inspector Meredith’s investigation becomes not only a classic example of detection but an elegant and humorous slice of crime.

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About the author (2013)

Robert Barnard lives in Leeds, was born in Essex and educated at Balliol. He had a distinguished career as an academic before he became a full-time writer. His first crime novel, Death of an Old Goat, was written while he was professor of English at the University of Tromso in Norway, the worlds most northerly university. He is a writer of great versatility, from the light and satirical tone of his earlier books to the more psychological preoccupations of later ones, such as A Fatal Attachment. Under the name of Bernard Bastable he has also written novels featuring Mozart as a detective, and is the author of many short stories. He has created several detectives, including Perry Trethowan and Charlie Peace. Robert Barnard says he writes only to entertain. He regards Agatha Christie as his ideal crime writer and has published an appreciation of her work, A Talent to Deceive, as well as books on Dickens, a history of English literature and nearly thirty mysteries. Robert Barnard was the winner of the 2003 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for a lifetime of achievement.

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