Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for This body of death : an Inspector Lynley novel
This body of death : an Inspector Lynley novel

Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Harper, 2011, ©2010.
Physical Description:
956 pages ; 20 cm
Number in series:
General Note:
"1st Harper premium printing: February 2011"--Title page verso.
After a woman is found dead in an isolated cemetery, Inspector Thomas Lynley and his former partner, Barbara Havers, find that the roots of the crime trace to a long-ago act of violence that has poisoned subsequent generations.


Call Number

On Order



"George explores her characters' dreams and fears with a penetrating grace that makes reading her books a joy."
--Washington Post Book World

"Elizabeth George reigns as queen of the mystery genre. The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published."
--Entertainment Weekly

The spellbinding new Inspector Lynley novel from Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling author of Careless in Red and What Came Before He Shot Her.

Author Notes

Elizabeth George was born on February 26, 1949, in Warren, Ohio. She received a bachelor's degree in education from the University of California in Riverside and a master's degree in counseling/psychology from California State University at Fullerton. She taught English in high school for about thirteen years before leaving to become a full-time writer. She is the New York Times and internationally best selling author of twenty British crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his unconventional partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Her novel, A Great Deliverance, won the Anthony Award, the Agatha Award, and France's Le Grand Prix de Literature Policiere in 1989. Her crime novels have been translated into 30 languages and featured on television by the BBC. She is also the author of a young adult series set on the island where she lives in the state of Washington. Her title's include Edge of Light, The Edge of the Shadows, The Edge of the Water, I, Richard, and The Punishment She Deserves.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller George's richly rewarding 16th novel to feature Det. Insp. Thomas Lynley (after Careless in Red) offers an intricate plot that will satisfy even jaded fans of psychological suspense. Aggressively career-minded Isabelle Ardery, the new acting superintendent of London's Metropolitan Police, boldly manages to lure Lynley, who's been grieving over his wife's murder, back from Cornwall to look into a murder case. The body of Jemima Hastings, a young woman recently relocated from Hampshire, has turned up in a London cemetery. With suspects in both locales and numerous leads to follow and interviews to conduct, Ardery succeeds in raising the hackles of Det. Sgt. Barbara Havers, Det. Insp. John Stewart, and other members of the investigating team. George tantalizes with glimpses of a horrific earlier murder case; showcases Lynley at his shrewdest, most diplomatic best; and confounds readers with a complex array of evidence, motives, and possible solutions. 6-city author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Tragedy blights lives in a dozen different ways.Grieving widower Thomas Lynley (Careless in Red, 2008, etc.) returns to New Scotland Yard to assist temporary Acting Superintendent Isabelle Ardery, who is acerbic, volatile and an alcoholic in denial. This potent cocktail hardly helps her relationship with her ex, her sons and Lynley's old staff, or produces sound judgments regarding the investigation of Jemima Hastings's murder. Jemima, who dealt with the death of her parents by leaping into love every chance she got, whether or not the man cared for her, had recently ended a relationship with Hampshire thatcher Gordon Jossie, although her usual pattern had been to stay until she was dumped. What caused the rift? Jossie, now intimately involved with a woman named Gina, has two dark secrets, one horrific, the other promising a financial windfall if he takes advantage of it. Did these secrets lead him to murder Jemima? Isabelle considers a schizophrenic musician her prime suspect for the killing. But with the help of Barbara Havers, who's crotchety about Lynley's growing attachment to Isabelle, Lynley digs away at Jemima's neighbors in her London rooming house, where venality collides with tragedy.Dark, unrelenting and powerful, though it would have been even finer without the schizophrenic ramblings, the descriptions of every shop along the High Street, the primer on thatching, the plight of New Forest ponies and Isabelle's constant retreats to the ladies' room for a swig of vodka and a breath mint.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Rarely can a conventional mystery sustain itself over nearly 650 pages. Some P. D. James novels have been almost that long and have succeeded in maintaining suspense and holding the reader, but this latest from George acclaimed crime writer and winner of the Anthony Award, Agatha Award, and France's Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière fails on both counts. There is a too-leisurely feel throughout, a sense that the author is luxuriating in extra space, and that's not a good fit for suspense. Detective Inspector Lynley returns, still grieving the deaths of his wife and unborn child in Cornwall, but moving forward, assisting New Scotland Yard in an investigation involving a young woman whose body was found in a London cemetery. George intersects this plotline with a real-life case, the Bulger kidnapping, involving the harrowing kidnapping and murder of a toddler by three boys. Reimagining this case, with all the details a novelist can bring to bear, seems in bad taste at best. Except for Inspector Lynley, whose character is always intriguing, the two plots limp along, making little headway. In addition, the new love interest that George provides for Lynley seems contrived. This very bloated effort will interest only George's longtime fans.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Isabelle Ardery is an ambitious detective with a habit of sneaking off to the ladies' room to down a miniature bottle of vodka or two. She has just been named acting superintendent of Thomas Lynley's former department when the body of a young woman is found in a London cemetery. Under pressure to find the killer quickly in order to prove herself, Ardery persuades Lynley to return from retirement to help her. The murder victim is Jemima Hastings, a young woman who, nine months before, abruptly left her thriving cupcake business and her boyfriend, roof-thatcher Gordon Jossie, in Hampshire and moved to London. Clues lead Ardery's team to Hampshire, where Jossie has a mysterious new girlfriend. Verdict Details about the craft of thatching and the care of the ponies that roam freely in Hampshire's New Forest, a former royal hunting ground, make this an informative as well as an entertaining novel. George's many fans will welcome Lynley's return to New Scotland Yard. Highly recommended for George fans and readers of British crime fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10; ebook edition: ISBN 978-0-06-199146-2; one-day laydown on April 20; 300,000-copy first printing; six-city tour.]-Jane La Plante, Minot State Univ. Lib., ND (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.