O Gentle Death by Janet Neel

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Faraday Trust, a fashionably liberal boarding school with a reputation for musical excellence is struggling in the face of exams. Poor test scores have prompted several withdrawals, and as a result, the trustees are beginning to worry. The headmaster has been asked to step down and a raging battle for his position is about to begin.

In the midst of this turmoil a troubled young pupil is causing her parents and the staff a great deal of concern. Disruptive, moody, and sexually precocious, Catriona Roberts is struggling academically and depressed about her relationship with the school's musical star, Giles Quentin. She has slashed her wrists on more than one occasion, and no one is surprised when she is found dead at a party, immersed in a tub of bloody water. But Detective Chief Inspector John McLeish and his wife, Francesca Wilson, are also guests at this party, and McLeish-too experienced to accept the obvious conclusion-quickly determines that this was not a suicide. The fact that Catriona was three months pregnant only confirms his suspicions.

One of the first to be questioned is Giles Quentin. Could he have killed the troubled girl to save his burgeoning singing career? Or was it Piers Miller, a favorite for the headmaster position, whom Catriona had accused of harassment just hours before her death?

A grave threat to Francesca and her family brings the investigation to a thrilling and unexpected end.

About Janet Neel

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Janet Neel is the nom de plume of Baroness (Janet) Cohen of Pimlico, who sits as a Labour peer in the House of Lords. She started out as a solicitor, then went into the Board of Trade, then to Charterhouse Bank. She now works at several places at once, including the London Stock Exchange and the Ministry of Defence, in addition to writing crime fiction. Her first novel, Death’s Bright Angel, won the John Creasey Prize, and Death of a Partner and Death Among the Dons were both shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger.
Published July 25, 2011 by Ostara Publishing. 240 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for O Gentle Death

Kirkus Reviews

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Detective Chief Superintendent John McLeish and his capable new Detective Inspector Kevin Camberton are faced with a difficult case involving members of the staff and students at the arts-oriented Faraday Foundation School.

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Publishers Weekly

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Francesca Wilson's seventh appearance (after 1998's To Die For) is certainly a lucky one for British author Neel. The end of term at Faraday Trust school

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Publishers Weekly

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The author adroitly renders the adolescent students (fragile, precocious, bumbling, cocky) and is no less successful in depicting the members of the teaching staff (caring, fallible, conniving, confused).

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Reviewing the Evidence

The identity of the murderer, while revealed at the end of the book, is perhaps much less important than the end of term, the A level exams, the final program that these young people put on, and the danger from another person entirely to Francesca and Jamie.

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The Best Reviews

Deputy Chief Inspector John McLeigh is unhappy when his wife Francesca hosts several Faraday Trust School students, including a member of his own household.

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