The Last Houseparty
A Crime NovelIn this gripping novel by CWA Gold Dagger winner Peter Dickinson, the survivor of a manor-house crime delves into the past to solve a mystery
At the elegant English manor known as Snailwood, tourists come daily to hear decades-old gossip about the second wife of the sixth earl. Zena was a remarkable young woman whose scandalous reputation has been dimmed neither by time nor by her bizarre death. In the 1930s, Zena was the star of a notorious party set whose members included playwrights, politicians, and Nazi sympathizers. They passed wild weekends at Snailwood, arguing about politics and drinking until dawn. At the center of their parties was the manor’s magnificent tower clock. The clock stopped long ago, but the darkness of its legacy continues to spread.
When a workman offers to fix the clock for free, the only remaining survivor of the old days is forced to revisit her memories of Zena’s last mad party, when death came to Snailwood and Britain changed forever.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
“The Last Houseparty is so subtly done and so cunningly constructed that I felt I wanted to read it twice in order to get the full satisfying joy of it, I could have read it a third time immediately afterwards without hardship. He sets new standards in the mystery field that will be hard to live up to.” —Ruth Rendell
“Absolutely satisfying.” —Los Angeles Times
“Elegant prose . . . [Dickinson] fairly stands the reader’s hair on end.” —The Atlantic
“A more satisfying thriller is hard to imagine. . . . Dickinson is a writer of distinction.” —Publishers Weekly
“An ever-elegant writer’s best book.” —Kirkus Reviews
“One of the most original mystery story writers of the decade.” —The New York Times Book Review
About the author
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 has earned his living writing fiction of various kinds for children and adults. His books have been published in several languages throughout the world.
The recipient of many awards, Dickinson has been shortlisted nine times for the prestigious Carnegie Medal for children's literature and was the first author to win it twice. The author of twenty-one crime and mystery novels for adults, Dickinson was also the first to win the Gold Dagger Award of the Crime Writers' Association for two books running: Skin Deep (1968) and A Pride of Heroes (1969).
A collection of Dickinson's poetry, The Weir, was published in 2007. His latest book, In the Palace of the Khans, was published in 2012 and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal.
Dickinson has served as chairman of the Society of Authors and is 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.