Written by Jessica Mann

Review written by Ayo Onatade

Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films

RRP: £10.99
Released: 23rd June 2011

Funeral Sites was original published in 1981 and one must be grateful for Ostara Publishing for bringing this excellent novel back into the limelight. It was the first book that introduced readers to Jessica Mann’s most famous character Tamara Hoyland.


Rosamund Sholto has always been uneasy about the circumstances surrounding her sister Phoebe Britton’s death.  This unease gains momentum after the funeral when it is clear that her brother-in-law Aiden Brittonhas had something to do with her death and it was not the  “accident” he proclaimed it to be.  Otherwise why would Rosamund have received a frantic phone call from her sister the day before she died? 


Aiden is determined to become the next Prime Minister and will stop at nothing to get rid of any hindrance that might stand in his way even if it is something that happened over twenty years ago in Cambridge. With Rosamund coming up against not only the police but the security services, the press and Aiden’s own “bodyguards” she soon finds herself on the run trying to stay alive with her only supporter being archaeologist Tamara Hoyland. 


In order to get to the bottom of her sister’s death and to confront Aiden the two women find themselves digging deep to uncover some grisly secrets that Aiden Britton has tried his hardest to keep hidden.  Their investigations are fraught with danger and it is obvious that the prospective Prime Minster will do anything and use anything at his disposal to guarantee he becomes the next Prime Minister even if it includes murder.


Funeral Sites is an excellent well-written book that reminds the reader of John Buchan’s famous book The 39 Steps.  Enthused with intrigue and full of sticky situations you would be remiss if you did not appreciate the fact that not only is it very reminiscent of those old style adventure novels that one loves to read and even though it is most certainly an updated feminist version it does not fail to thrill.


Combining personal and political drama Funeral sites has stood the test of time as being a novel that insidiously and slowly slips under your skin. It should definitely be seen as one of those classic novels that should be read by all and not hidden away. It would be very remiss if any adventure loving reader does not have this amongst their collection.

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