Despite a planned move, the mysterious death of photographer Bryn Wallace keeps American writer Nora Tierney glued to Oxford in order to clear her close friend, artist Val Rogan, who has been wrongfully accused of Bryn’s murder. Or has she? Nora quickly becomes embroiled in the murder investigation, much to the dismay of two men: Detective Inspector Declan Barnes, the senior on the case; and Simon Ramsey, the illustrator of Nora’s children’s book. Simon’s efforts to save Nora from herself become increasingly frantic as Nora is forced to push her way into Declan’s case, using her wits and her wiles to prove Val’s innocence.
The first in a series of Nora Tierney mysteries based in the UK, THE BLUE VIRGIN is a compelling story of love and intrigue. Nothing, Nora learns, is what it seems, and even the most innocent of choices can lead to murder and revenge. Set in the ancient city of golden spires, the setting lends itself to mystery, as any Inspector Morse fan will agree. The novel is written in classic English style, complete with a Cast of Characters and chapter epigraphs which add to its literary feel.
TIME OF DEATH author Ellis Vidler has this to say about the novel: “THE BLUE VIRGIN flows like a river, smooth but powerful, with small streams feeding into the story, adding to the depth and richness. It carries the reader through twists and turns but never falters. Nora Tierney, adapting to a surprise pregnancy but always there to support the people she loves, captured me right away. The varied personalities and eccentricities of the other characters play off each other and keep things interesting. The mystery is solid, and Ms. Graff’s knowledge of Oxford comes through in the details without ever slowing the pace. Graff is an excellent writer who never jars or misses a step. I highly recommend this book.”
CHOKE CREEK author Lauren Small adds: “I’m a big fan or mysteries and now count THE BLUE VIRGIN as one of my favorites. Nora Tierney makes a great accidental sleuth, and there’s a rich cast of characters for her to suspect–and investigate. People who love psychological mystery writers like Ruth Rendell or classic authors like Agatha Christie will love M. K. Graff.”
Joan Seliger Sidney, author of BODY OF DIMINISHING MOTION says: “In her stunning, debut mystery novel set in Oxford, England, M. K. Graff keeps the reader guessing who-done-it. Her sophisticated literary style together with her compelling plot and cast of characters make the book impossible to put down.”
The editor of Sideshow Press, Toni Amato, notes: “Graff is wise in the ways of human hearts. THE BLUE VIRGIN reveals out desires and devotions in all of their glorious and grotesque possibilities. No one character is simple, and no one perspective wins primacy of place, yet through the eyes of protagonist Nora Tierney, we are shown all this is most deeply human. Along the way, Graff tells a damn fine story.”
The author of BRIGHT WINGS BROKEN, Liz Jones, comments: “THE BLUE VIRGIN is a suspenseful and urgent novel, immediately gaining the reader’s interest. Graff has created distinctive, well-drawn characters–some sympathetic or strong, others sinister or creepy or annoying-but all are highly memorable, while the descriptive setting paints a true picture of this lovely area.”
Reviewer Marley Clark notes: “THE BLUE VIRGIN is a delightful read in the best of mystery (especially British) traditions. Graff’s characters are not only engaging, but they’re realistic with all of the self-doubts, joys and sorrows of living, breathing women and men. The Oxford setting is an additional character in the book. You’ll feel you’re right there with the characters, having high tea and walking down cobblestone streets. Best of all, the author injects enough crafty red herrings for the reader to remain uncertain about the murderer’s identity until near the very end of this painstakingly-crafted book.”
- Scranton, NC
- United States