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Death Left Hanging (Chief Inspector Woodend Mysteries) Hardcover – May 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: Chief Inspector Woodend Mysteries (Book 9)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727859307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727859303
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,589,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1934, Margaret Dodds was hanged for murdering her husband. Thirty years later, her daughter, celebrated lawyer Jane Hartley, asks the police to reopen the case. It's handed to Chief Inspector Charlie Woodend and his two loyal cohorts, Detectives Rutter and Paniatowski. Faced with a decades-old case, a stone-cold evidence trail, and witnesses who have died or disappeared, the trio knows it will be an uphill battle. The fact that the original investigating officer, who clearly bungled the case, is now an influential member of parliament makes the task even more difficult. Unraveling conflicting stories, teasing out elderly and recalcitrant witnesses, and following up hundreds of leads finally bring out a truth that is neither satisfying nor rewarding, A richly layered plot, complex and engaging characters, and a shocking conclusion make this police procedural a gripping and engaging read. Emily Melton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Spencer was born and brought up in Cheshier. She has been a teacher in England and Iran.

More About the Author

Sally Spencer is a pen name, first adopted when the author (actually called Alan Rustage) was writing sagas and it was almost obligatory that a woman's name appeared on the cover (other authors like Emma Blair and Mary Jane Staples are also men).

Before become a full-time writer, he was a teacher. In 1978-79 he was working in Iran and witnessed the fall of the Shah. He got used to having rifles - and, one occasion, a rocket launcher - pointed at him by both soldiers and revolutionaries, but he was never entirely comfortable with it.

He lived in Madrid for over twenty years, and still considers it the most interesting and exciting city he has ever visited, but for the last few years he has opted for a quieter life in the seaside town of Calpe, on the Costa Blanca.

His first series of books were historical sagas set in Cheshire (where he grew up) and London. They were very popular with his English readers, but his American readers find the dialect something of a strain.

He has written twenty books featuring DCI Woodend (a character based partly on a furniture dealer he used to play dominoes with) and ten (so far!) about Woodend's protegé Monika Paniatowski. His DI Blackstone books are set in Victorian/Edwardian London, New York and Russia, and the DI Ruiz books have as their backdrop the Spanish Civil War.

Alan is a competitive games player who likes bridge and pub quizes. It is only by enforcing iron discipline that he doesn't play video games all the time.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: The woman in the condemned cell was unaware of any of the technical intricacies involved in her imminent execution.

Margaret Dobbs was tried and executed for murdering her husband. Although all the evidence pointed to her, she maintained her innocence until the end. Thirty years on, her daughter, a member of the Queen's Council, wants her mother's name cleared. A powerful politician, who was the original investigating officer, wants the verdict to stand. CI Charlie Woodend needs to find the truth.

The prologue, set in 1934, is a unique and compelling opening drawing you in from the very first page. It also provides the background as to the lasting impression the murder trial and execution had on young Woodend, causing him to become a policeman.

It is character that drives the story. Woodend the type of detective I really like. He follows the clues and digs into the details. It was also interesting that there was another officer for whom the case became very personal. The characters aren't just there to propel the story; you become involved and care about them.

The main portion of the story is set in the 1950's and really shows the classic ignorance and prejudice toward homosexuals. While that's not a major element of the story, it does add veracity to the plot. And it is a good plot. To solve one case, they need to solve a second and there is a very good twist.

"A Death Left Hanging" is only the second Woodend book I've read but it shan't be my last.

A DEATH LEFT HANGING (Pol. Proc-CI Charlie Woodend-England-Contemp)-VG
Spencer, Sally - 10th in series
Severn House - ©2003
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By RJPetyo on December 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
In June of 1934 a woman is executed by hanging for the murder of her husband. In the sixties her daughter, Jane Hartley, now a powerful lawyer, insists that the case be reopened. She uses her influence to pressure the police to look into the case. They act reluctantly because the investigating officer of that old case is now a powerful politician whom they wish not to offend.

Chief Inspector Charlie Woodend is given the difficult assignment. He and his investigators, Monica Paniatowski and Bob Rutter, take on the challenge of looking into a thirty year old case, one with such political and bureaucratic ramifications that no one could possibly be happy of the outcome. Just another day at the office for Charlie Woodend.

Ms. Spencer’s English police procedurals are always fast moving and intricate. The mystery is interesting and well laid out, covering themes deeper and darker than expected, and including twist after twist after twist.
And, most importantly, the characters leap off the page, both the main characters and the walk-ons. Woodend, Rutter and Paniatowski are real people, as are the various victims and witnesses in the case. This novel is one of the Woodend series, which preceded the current Monika Paniatowski series, one of my favorites. I found the character development of Monika particularly interesting because of what comes later in her series.

I’m a fan.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read quite a few of this authors work and have been very happy with the mysteries and the way she brings the local atmosphere into her stories. She makes them very realistic to someone who is familiar with the area of which she writes. Well worth the time to read if you have any ties to Northern England and remember the accents, language and other pieces of atmosphere.she weaves throughout her tales.
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