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The Murder Next Door

The Murder Next Door

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By Sarah Bell

A queer historical murder mystery that explores notions of justice and morality, driven by compelling flawed characters.

In the summer of 1912 in Northern England, sapphic couple Louisa Knight and Ada Chapman are drawn into the investigation of their neighbour's murder.

The police quickly declare his wife the obvious suspect. Ada, however, questions whether she could be innocent.The same as Ada's former lover - now in gaol for manslaughter - claims to be.

Louisa is less certain, and less keen to investigate, but finds herself pulled along by the mystery of it all.

These reactions reflect their differing personalities. Ada is artistic, impulsive and fiery, whilst Louisa is pragmatic, clever and dry witted. She is also asexual - a word not available to her - and Ada is not. Due to these differences, their relationship is a careful balancing act and both harbour fears that this investigation could push them over the edge.

It doesn't help that what they learn about Mr Pearce paints him as a selfish man who cared little for the hurt he caused others. His wife is not the only woman with good reason to want him dead, and the couple are forced to ask themselves questions about the morality of the situation and the legal system that will ensnare the guilty party.

This book would appeal to both fans of historical mysteries and LGBTQA+ fiction.

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