The Yellow Room Conspiracy
A Crime Novel
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In this “exceptional” British mystery by a Gold Dagger winner, an aging aristocrat and her longtime lover explore the dark events of their shared past (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
Lady Lucy Vereker Seddon is dying of a terminal illness when something she hears on the radio reminds her of her younger, darker days and inspires her to question her dearest friend and former lover, Paul Ackerley, about his role in a series of past family tragedies. There was the strange death of Lucy’s brother-in-law, the brute Gerry Grantworth, in the Yellow Room of Blatchards—the huge and ugly Vereker estate—and the subsequent destruction by fire of the sprawling manor house. And then there was the infamous Seddon Affair, the sordid scandal that rocked Great Britain in the midst of the Suez Crisis.
Surprised to hear that the woman he has always loved suspects him to be the culprit behind these events—especially since he always assumed Lucy herself helped engineer them—Paul suggests that they each record their memories and compare them. By doing so, perhaps they will both find their way to the long-hidden and terrible truth.
Told through an alternating series of memories and flashbacks, The Yellow Room Conspiracy brilliantly re-creates a post-war era and a world of privilege corrupted by greed, jealousy, lust, and lies. The astonishing Peter Dickinson, one of Britain’s greatest suspense novelists of the late twentieth century, ingeniously wraps a love story around a mystery and once again solidifies his position alongside luminaries such as P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Peter Lovesey, and Reginald Hill.
“Dazzling.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Elegant . . . memorable.” —Newsweek
“Exceptional.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Subtle . . . characterful . . . This is a whodunit which expands the category.” —The Times (London)
“[A] bittersweet and subtly compelling tale. . . . Deft and absorbing . . . as much a story of enduring love—of people and a way of life—as it is an intriguing mystery.” —Publishers Weekly
“He is the true original, a superb writer who revitalizes the conventions of the genre. . . . A master.” —P. D. James
“The murder is almost the least of it; the best of it being Dickinson’s evocation of another time, another place, and colorful women, especially, and relationships.” —Los Angeles Times
“A lost world of passions and rivalries . . . The real business of this novel isn’t corpses and scandals but people and the social institutions they inhabit . . . [Dickinson] is a gifted writer and social commentator.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Intricate plots are Dickinson’s forte, and this, a story of passion, intrigue, and murder is no exception.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Bittersweet and subtly compelling . . . deft and absorbing, Dickinson’s latest is as much a story of enduring love—of people and a way of life—as it is an intriguing mystery.” —Publishers Weekly
“This is an astonishing novel, written with its author’s usual elegant style and unerring sense of place, period, and character.” —Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
“One can always expect something freshly creative from each new book of Peter Dickinson’s.” —Deadly Pleasures
“In every book he writes he creates a new world, and one which is sinister or threatening in its own way. Everything is distinct, and everything has distinction. He is one of detection’s few originals.” —Robert Barnard
Peter Dickinson was born in Africa but raised and educated in England. From 1952 to 1969 he was on the editorial staff of Punch, and since then earned his living writing fiction of various kinds for children and adults. His books have been published in several languages throughout the world.
The author of twenty-one crime and mystery novels for adults, Dickinson was the first to win the Gold Dagger Award of the Crime Writers’ Association for two books running: The Glass-Sided Ants Nest (1968) and The Old English Peepshow (1969). Dickinson was shortlisted nine times for the prestigious Carnegie Medal for children’s literature and was the first author to win it twice.
Dickinson served as chairman of the Society of Authors and was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 for services to literature. Peter Dickinson died on December 16, 2015, at the age of eighty-eight.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly