INVITATION TO A FUNERAL
a tale of Restoration intrigue by
London, 1676: Spy-turned-playwright Aphra Behn is having more than her share of
troubles. Her last play was a flop and her financial situation is getting
desperate: she's in debt to a money-lender who could have her arrested for
non-payment at any time. Her on-again, off-again relationship with an
alcoholic attorney is dangerously close to being on again, and she's stuck
with the worst actress in the world as the lead in her new comedy. But
when she offers to organize the funeral of a murdered man it seems her troubles are only just beginning...
"Lavishly researched period whodunnit, set in London 1676, with playwright
Aphra Behn tearing her hair out over a new production fated to open with
inept Restoration bimbo - the mistress of licentious Lord Rochester - in
the lead. Worries enough, but offstage she's determined to discover who
killed two brothers who helped her through hard times in her youth.
A cast of thousands including Nell Gwyn,
Charles II, the Duke of Buckingham, ladies of the bed chamber and spies of
all nations... Salty, vigorous and adroit, with Aphra an engaging heroine. More please."
"The most enjoyable historical novel I've read for years... Bawdy humour, a
plot with more twists than Spaghetti Junction, and a heroine to die for in
playwright Aphra Behn, it's hard to fault on any level. Like most great
humorists, more of Brown's characters are amoral than not, and even the white
hats have a heavy tinge of grey. Drunkenness, debauchery... it's all here.
If you read just one historical novel this
year, we at CRIME TIME would like to suggest that this be it."
"Molly Brown's Invitation To A Funeral is one of the most original and
enjoyable novels I've read in a while. I must admit, I stumbled across it by
chance: I was in the middle of another book and wanted a bit of a break, but
once started, I was absolutely hooked and had to finish it.
I was absorbed by the larger than life characters, and mesmerised by the
intricate too-ing and fro-ing of the plot. As one set of characters flounce
off stage, another takes over to draw you further into the web of intrigue
with a bawdy wit and energy rarely found, and more rarely sustained. But
have no doubt, this book carries it all off admirably... The sights, sounds
and squalor of Restoration London are brought vividly to
life, and the heroine, Aphra Behn, and her friends are as fine creations as
any you're likely to meet. This really is a book to throw yourself into, a
Tangled Web UK
"Admire the shameless vigour of this Restoration romp."
Good Book Guide
"Restoration England is a fun place to be in Molly Brown's Invitation To A
Funeral... an uproarious tale of historical shenanigans."
"What a joy to find a new author using an original period. Molly Brown's
novel is bravely set in Restoration England - intricate plotting and
rumbustious fun amid fops, paupers and playwrights, the endlessly feuding
mistresses of Charles II and sinister double agents of more than one
foreign power. A lively and welcome debut."
"With this sparkling debut, Molly Brown brings
pace, zest and colour to the historical mystery."
NEW! The first American reviews of Invitation To A Funeral:
"In Brown's stunning re-creation of Restoration England, the settings
range from hovels to Whitehall Palace, the characters from beggars to
King Charles II, and the action from petty thievery and skulduggery to
court intrigue and murder. The plot centers on Aphra Behn, a successful
playwright and friend of Nell Gwyn, the Earl of Rochester, and others -
whose attempt to return a long-ago favour by providing funeral expenses
for two derelicts places her in increasing danger. Complete with secret
passages, court scandal, spies, this wonderful first historical belongs
in every mystery collection." Library Journal (starred review)
"Atmospheric debut... Brown generously mixes factual and fictional
Restoration history and campy drama - including secret passageways,
knockout drops in the claret and manipulative mistresses - to great
"A pleasurable jaunt back to another historical era."
Rock Hill (South Carolina) Herald
"Stunningly original, deliciously funny, and breathtakingly suspenseful."
"This original, funny, and thoroughly enjoyable historical
mystery... Readers will finish Invitation To A Funeral with
the feeling that they have actually spent a few entertaining
hours in Restoration-era England."
The Mystery Reader
Now available in the U.S. from Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Press
Now available in large print from Chivers Press
(c) 1996 - 2000 Molly Brown