A 50th-anniversary edition of the pioneering novel featuring African American police detective Virgil Tibbs--with a foreword by John Ridley, creator of the TV series American Crime and Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave
"One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequaled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories." --The GuardianA moving novel about the destructive power of greed starring the unrivaled Inspector Maigret
It's 1972, and whileElton John and Alice Cooper may be topping the charts, Inspector Alleyn's latest case is set in that most gloriously retro environment: The country-house party. A Christmas party, as it happens, where Agatha Troy is enjoying the local holiday pageant and also painting the host's portrait.
We do love a man in a uniform, but the "Constables" in question are not policemen but paintings the landscapes, specifically, of the 19th-century painter John Constable. Agatha Troy (the artist wife, you ll remember, of Inspector Alleyn) has a special fondness for Constable's work, so she jumps at the chance to take a river-cruise through "Constable Country" in the east of England.
Ng ombwana is a (fictional) African nation to have emerged in the wake of colonialism; as it happens, its President is Inspector Alleyn's old school chum, the "Boomer." Old school ties being what they are, the Boomer making an official visit to London insists that Alleyn handle his security, rather than Her Majesty's Special Branch.
In 1968 Ngaio Marsh took her own Roman holiday (in part to research Italian police procedures) and the change seems to have done her good: Both her British and U.S. agents believed When in Rome to be the finest novel in her "Inspector Alleyn" series.