Nicola Upson books in order
Nicola Upson is a British author of historical fiction, crime fiction and gay and lesbian novels.
Born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, she attended Downing College, Cambridge, where she studied English.
With experience in theater and as a freelance journalist under her belt, Upson–who is best known for writing the Josephine Tey mystery series–is the recipient of an Escalator Award from Arts Council England.
She lives with her partner and currently divides her time between Cambridge and Cornwall.
Genres: Crime Suspense, Gay and Lesbian, Historical Mystery, Mystery
- Stanley and Elsie (2019)
- An Expert in Murder (2008)
- Angel with Two Faces (2009)
- Two For Sorrow (2010)
- Fear in the Sunlight (2012)
- The Death of Lucy Kyte (2013)
- London Rain (2015)
- Nine Lessons (2017)
- Sorry for the Dead (2019)
- The Dead of Winter (2020)
- Dear Little Corpses (2022)
Detailed book overview
The First World War is over, and in a quiet Hampshire village, artist Stanley Spencer is working on the commission of a lifetime, painting an entire chapel in memory of a life lost in the war to end all wars. Combining his own traumatic experiences with moments of everyday redemption, the chapel will become his masterpiece.
When Elsie Munday arrives to take up position as housemaid to the Spencer family, her life quickly becomes entwined with the charming and irascible Stanley, his artist wife Hilda and their tiny daughter Shirin.
As the years pass, Elsie does her best to keep the family together even when love, obsession and temptation seem set to tear them apart...
March 1934. Revered mystery writer Josephine Tey is traveling from Scotland to London for the final week of her play Richard of Bordeaux, the surprise hit of the season, with pacifist themes that resonate in a world still haunted by war. But joy turns to horror when her arrival coincides with the murder of a young woman she had befriended on the train ride—and Tey is plunged into a mystery as puzzling as any in her own works.
Detective Inspector Archie Penrose is convinced that the killing is connected to the play, and that Tey herself is in danger of becoming a victim of her own success. In the aftermath of a second murder, the writer and the policeman must join together to stop a ruthless killer who will apparently stop at nothing.
Inspector Archie Penrose invites crime writer Josephine Tey down to his family home in Cornwall so she can recover from a recent trauma. Josephine welcomes the opportunity, but her hopes of experiencing a period of rest are dashed when her arrival coincides with the mysterious death of a young man in the village.
Soon, more people are going missing or turning up dead, and Josphine and Archie begin to suspect the involvement a cold-blooded murderer.
As Josephine and Archie try to unravel the mystery, they begin to see death as an angel with two faces - one gazing at the violence in the present, the other looking back to the crimes hidden in the past.
They were the most horrific crimes of a new century: the murders of newborn innocents for which two British women were hanged at Holloway Prison in 1903. Decades later, mystery writer Josephine Tey has decided to write a novel based on Amelia Sach and Annie Walters, the notorious “Finchley baby farmers,” unaware that her research will entangle her in the desperate hunt for a modern-day killer.
A young seamstress—an ex-convict determined to reform—has been found brutally slain in the studio of Tey’s friends, the Motley sisters, amid preparations for a star-studded charity gala. Despite initial appearances, Inspector Archie Penrose is not convinced this murder is the result of a long-standing domestic feud—and a horrific accident involving a second young woman soon after supports his convictions.
Now he and his friend Josephine must unmask a sadistic killer before more blood flows—as the repercussions of unthinkable crimes of the past reach out to destroy those left behind long after justice has been served. .
Summer, 1936: Josephine Tey joins her friends in the resort village of Portmeirion to celebrate her fortieth birthday. Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, are there to sign a deal to film Josephine’s novel, A Shilling for Candles, and Alfred Hitchcock has one or two tricks up his sleeve to keep the holiday party entertained—and expose their deepest fears. But things get out of hand when one of Hollywood’s leading actresses is brutally slashed to death in a cemetery near the village. The following day, fear and suspicion take over in a setting where nothing—and no one—is quite what it seems.
When Josephine Tey unexpectedly inherits Red Barn Cottage from her estranged godmother, the will stipulates that she must personally claim the house in the Suffolk countryside. But Josephine is not the only benefactor—a woman named Lucy Kyte is also in Hester’s will.
Sorting through the artifacts of her godmother’s life, Josephine is intrigued by an infamous death committed on the cottage’s grounds a century before. Yet this old crime—dubbed the Red Barn murder—still seems to haunt the tight-knit village and its remote inhabitants. Is it just superstition, or is there a very real threat that is frightening the locals? Could the truth be related to the mysterious Lucy Kyte, who no one in the village admits to knowing?
With a palpable sense of evil thickening around her, Josephine must untangle historic tragedy from present danger and prevent a deadly cycle from beginning once more.
London, 1937. Following the gloomy days of the abdication of King Edward VIII, the entire city is elated to welcome King George. Just one of the many planned festivities for the historic coronation is a BBC radio adaptation of Queen of Scots, and the original playwright, Josephine Tey, has been invited to sit in on rehearsals.
Soon, however, Josephine gets wrapped up in another sort of drama. The lead actress has been sleeping with Britain’s most venerable newsman, Anthony Beresford—and his humiliated wife happens to work in the building. The sordid affair seems to reach its bloody climax when Beresford is shot to death in his broadcasting booth at the deafening height of the coronation ceremony.
Josephine’s friend Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose thinks he has the case wrapped up. But after two more murders, it falls to Josephine to unravel a web of betrayal, jealousy, and long-held secrets, as she herself is caught in a love triangle of her own.
Called to the peaceful wooded churchyard of St-John's-at-Hampstead, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose faces one of the most audacious and unusual murders of his career. The body of the church's organist is found in an opened grave, together with a photograph of a manor house and a cryptic note. The image leads Archie to Cambridge, where the crisp autumn air has brought with it bustling life to the ancient university and town.
Both Josephine Tey and Archie's lover Bridget have recently settled in Cambridge, though both women are not equally happy to see him. One has concealed an important secret from Archie which now threatens to come to light. Meanwhile, the change of seasons has also brought with it a series of vicious attacks against women in town, spreading fear and suspicion through the community.
Soon, another body is revealed, and in the shadow of King's College Chapel, Archie uncovers a connection twenty-five years old which haunted both victims--as well as some of their living companions. As Archie and Josephine each grapple with savage malefactors intent on making their victims pay, they must race to stop another attack in this beautifully written, intricately plotted mystery.
In the summer of 1915, the sudden death of a young girl brings grief and notoriety to Charleston Farmhouse on the Sussex Downs.
Years later, Josephine Tey returns to the same house--now much changed--and remembers the two women with whom she once lodged as a young teacher during the Great War. As past and present collide, with murders decades apart, Josephine is forced to face the possibility that the scandal which threatened to destroy those women's lives hid a much darker secret.
December 1938, and storm clouds hover once again over Europe. Josephine Tey and Archie Penrose gather with friends for a Cornish Christmas, but two strange and brutal deaths on St Michael's Mount - and the unexpected arrival of a world famous film star, in need of sanctuary - interrupt the festivities. Cut off by the sea and a relentless blizzard, the hunt for a murderer begins.
Pivoting on a real moment in history, the ninth novel in the 'Josephine Tey' series draws on all the much-loved conventions of the Golden Age Christmas mystery, whilst giving them the contemporary twist which has come to distinguish the books so far.
NB: This book is also known as The Secrets of Winter.
It takes a village to bury a child...
September 1st, 1939. As the mass evacuation takes place across Britain, thousands of children leave London for the countryside, but when a little girl vanishes without a trace, the reality of separation becomes more urgent and more deadly for those who love her.
In the chaos and uncertainty of war, Josephine struggles with the prospect of change. As a cloud of suspicion falls across the small Suffolk village she has come to love, the conflict becomes personal, and events take a dark and sinister turn.