New Classic Crime Fiction

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The Rossington Inheritance

by Mary Tant

The first of a new classic crime series in a West Country setting

From the reviews

Mary Tant in her first Christie-style classic murder mystery gathers a small group of polite characters in a rundown Tudor mansion and ruined Cistercian priory in the West Country. It has been owned by the Rossington family for generations … in the Christie tradition, murder ensues, followed by a tense denouement Oxford Times

***** rating – One to watch
This is very reminiscent of Agatha Christie with its West-of-England country house setting. A good plot, very good dialogue and the first of a series. I can envisage it adapting well to the small screen…
Philip Richards "crime reader" (London) 28 May 2007

Mary Tant carries the narrative forward almost entirely in dialogue and the style suited this country-house murder mystery perfectly. There were plenty of red herrings among the clues as to who had carried out a brutal attack… and plenty of motives too. Of course, it's up to the family to sort it all out…
Strong distinct characters, a delightful setting and further books to follow make this a winner… Stow Times

…an intriguing tale about familial relationships and friendships with an idyllic pastoral setting and skilfully drawn characters. Miriam Reeves


Lucy Rossington has put a promising career on hold, so that she can keep the family home going for her young brother Will. Not an easy task, when home is an Elizabethan manor in the West Country that the family have lived in for generations.
But Lucy has plans to keep them afloat and bring them into the modern world. Grandmother Isobel is favourably inclined, but the estate manager opposes anything new.
Fortunately Lucy has support from her elegant and impulsive childhood friend Anna. There are newcomers on the scene, though, and Lucy begins to wonder if they are all that they seem. Then the taint of avarice and deceit from the past seems to stain the present. It becomes essential to know who she can trust, not only for her happiness, but also for the safety of her family and friends. Will she find out in time?
MARY TANT has been a historical researcher for many years, and now specializes in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Her interest in history began in childhood with Richard III, Rupert of the Rhine and the young Elizabeth Tudor. Wildlife observation also started early with the plants and creatures in the woodland beside her home. An interest in crime fiction came later, but has proved just as enduring.
190 pages 198 x 129 mm
Hardcover (978–1–903152–16–4) @ £12.99
Paperback (978–1–903152–21–8) @ £6.99

Available from major booksellers, Amazon or in case of difficulty from Threshold.

Here is an extract…


Lucy wiped the paintbrush carefully on an old rag and laid it down. She put the lid firmly back onto the paint tin, pressing it down with her foot to make sure it was closed. Then she straightened up, pushing her heavy chestnut hair back from her face with one paint-smeared hand, adding more white streaks to those that already marked her small lightly-tanned features. ‘That’s it, Will,’ she called, ‘they’re all done.’

The slight wiry boy crouched on the gravel drive looked across at her and grinned. He stood up and threw his handful of weeds into the heavy galvanised bucket beside him, which was already brimming over with tufts of grass and clumps of plantain. He sauntered across the lawn to where she stood, a smile splitting his thin face as he saw how bespattered with paint she was.

‘You won’t have any difficulty going on the war path,’ he observed.

Lucy shrugged impatiently. ‘You can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs,’ she countered tartly, and gestured about her. ‘What do you think?’

Will turned slowly round, viewing the south lawn. It was dotted with deceptively casual groups of cast-iron chairs and tables, newly painted in white. A few cedar benches, shining with freshly-applied linseed oil, were backed carefully against the beech hedge which separated the lawn from the ha-ha.

‘They do look good, Lucy. What a shame we can’t eat them!’ He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, and then went on hurriedly, ‘But what about the rest of it?’ He pointed at the molehills that showed in places through the long grass of the lawn, and at the branches arching luxuriantly from the overgrown hedge.

‘Oh, that’ll be alright. Bert’s going to see to it all when he’s finished edging the drive.’

‘This year?’ muttered Will, avoiding his sister’s gaze as she eyed him suspiciously, not quite sure of what he had said.

‘Well, anyway, the house looks fine, doesn’t it?’ she asked him, looking proudly across the drive to the south front of the old house. Indeed, it did look particularly attractive, with the spring sunlight warming the mellow red bricks and sparkling on the leaded windows.

‘Let’s hope they don’t see that the windows are loose and the roof leaks,’ Will said gloomily.

‘Must you be so pessimistic?’ Lucy snapped crossly.

Her brother was immediately repentant. ‘I’m sorry. It’s just that I know so well what’s wrong with it. But it does really look good, and, honestly, no one else will see all the bad things, not even if they need to have their teas in the hall.’

‘No, they’re not likely to,’ Lucy agreed, her irritation forgotten. ‘It’s lucky we can use it if the weather is bad.’

Will opened his mouth, and then quickly closed it again, deciding that further comment would be unwise.

Now read on…

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