Victorian crime writer's ghost haunts legal eagle's latest whodunnit | Knutsford Times

Victorian crime writer’s ghost haunts legal eagle’s latest whodunnit

By on February 23, 2010

The Lake District based murder mystery is Knutsford born Edwards 14th crime thriller and the fourth in his Cumbrian series following the fortunes of DCI Hannah Scarlett and Oxford historian Daniel Kind (see synopsis below). The book draws heavily on the life and opium inspired writings of Manchester born Victorian author Thomas De Quincey. The book finds Daniel Kind writing about De Quincey who was editor of the Westmorland Gazette and a friend of William Wordsworth. De Quincey is best known for his essay writing including ‘On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts’ which has influenced many famous crime writers.

Describing De Quincey’s influence leading crime fiction magazine Crime Time said: “In The Serpent Pool, this is murder as a fine art, as expounded by Thomas de Quincey. If that sounds grotesque, it’s not a false lead, and there are powerful elements of Gothic horror at work in this book. The Serpent Pool is the darkest of the four Lakes novels and possibly the most rewarding.”

The book is also being published in the United States where Edwards, who lives in Lymm, has a growing following. Last month the Denver Post reviewed the Serpent Pool saying: “Character, atmosphere, plot and pace — this series has it all”. Meanwhile Edwards’ profile is also gathering pace in the UK with a Guardian review of the Serpent Pool saying: “With evocative descriptions of everything from landscape to cocktail parties, expert plotting, an engaging protagonist and strongly delineated characters, The Serpent Pool is old-fashioned, well-made crime fiction at its best, and the dénouement will have you choking on your Kendal mint cake.”

Edwards says the book sees Scarlett and Kind become more definite about their feelings for each other than in previous novels.

“The aim with the Serpent Pool was to delve deeper into the creeping tensions bubbling beneath the surface of the Lakes and certain personalities,” he said. “Pressure has always been a key theme in my books and what pushes people under pressure to kill – and then keep secrets buried in the past and in everyday deceits.”

The book is published in hardback by Allison & Busby, priced £19.99 and is available from all good bookshops, Amazon and

The Serpent Pool synopsis
DCI Hannah Scarlett is determined to uncover the truth behind Emily Friend’s mysterious drowning in the Serpent’s Pool. Though the evidence at the time did not rule out suicide, why would Emily, so afraid of water, choose drowning to end it all? Hannah has to face distraction though with a new sergeant with a troublesome reputation, a new house, and new cause to doubt her partner, Marc Amos.

Historian Daniel Kind has just returned from America and is hard at work on a new book. Meeting with Hannah again, they can’t help but make connections between Emily’s death and two recent murders which struck close to home..


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