Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
Constance Briscoe is a remarkable woman. A practising barrister and UK judge, she is also known for two best-selling memoirs, Ugly and Beyond Ugly. The Accused is her debut novel in the crime-writing field in which she uses her specialist knowledge of the criminal justice system to good effect.
Sparky Sam Bailey is about to set up a private investigation service with her best friend Elizabeth Johnson when to her disbelief Elizabeth, known as Icey, is charged with murder. A woman was found with her throat cut in a church, and the police had discovered an unconscious Icey at the scene of the crime with the murder weapon grasped in her hand. It seems an open and shut case. But Sam does not believe that, and when Icey is found guilty sets out with the first case for their new agency: proving Icey’s innocence. It’s a long haul and before the case is solved more women have died.
Although the theme is a familiar one, Sam’s leadership of the defence and the author’s inside knowledge of the way the courts and prison service work make The Accused an interesting read.