Out on 24 January 2019

Malice Aforethought

Francis Iles

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24 January 2019
336 pages

Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector’s Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector’s Library are books to love and treasure. This edition features an afterword by crime writing expert and award-winning writer Barry Forshaw.

It was not until several weeks after he had decided to murder his wife that Dr Bickleigh took any active steps in the matter.

So begins the classic crime novel Malice Aforethought. Dr Edmund Bickleigh and his insufferable wife Julia are hosting a tennis party where gossip rivals tennis as the most interesting sport. The seemingly genteel doctor is unable to tolerate his wife’s incessant henpecking any longer, distracted as he is by his young and attractive female guests. And as his passion for one in particular, the mysterious Madeleine Cranmere, grows, so does his resolve to murder his wife . . .

Francis Iles’s novel is one of the earliest and finest examples of the inverted detective story – we know who committed the crime, the question is, will he get away with it? Set in stuffy 1920s England and told from the perspective of the devious Dr Bickleigh himself, Malice Aforethought is impeccably plotted and darkly comic.

A fascinating insight into a troubled mind, and a gripping thriller, the novel has been twice adapted for television with Hywel Bennett and Ben Miller in the main part

‘1,000 novels everyone must read: Crime’ - Guardian