New From Ipso Books – Nicholas Blake’s The Smiler with the Knife


Following the release of There’s Trouble Brewing and The Beast Must Die in May, this month we welcome The Smiler with the Knife to Ipso Books’ growing list of Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways novels.

Where else but in a Strangeways novel would you find a poet Detective? Influenced by Blake’s real life as Anglo-Irish poet Cecil Day Lewis, his novels were a backdrop for contemporary society at the time.

Strangeways – originally based on Blake’s friend WH Auden and his extravagance – becomes a more serious character with each novel in the series. Unlike Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple, Nigel Strangeways ages with the novels, allowing him to react to the modern world. Although a lyrical poet, Blake’s prose is clean and without too heavy a poetic leaning that you would expect in the early novels.

Follow private detective and poet Nigel Strangeways as he is invited to address the Maiden Astbury literary society in the sleepy and serene Dorset town in There’s Trouble Brewing, only to be dragged into investigating a murder in which all the town’s inhabitants are suspects.

In The Beast Must Die, crime writer Frank Cairns enlists the help of an old friend of Strangeways’ to bring the detective to his aid, as he insists he has been framed for the death of George Rattery, the hit and run driver who had killed his son.

With the latest release from Ipso Books The Smiler with the Knife, Nigel and Georgia Strangeways think their days of globe-trotting detective work are behind them, but little do they know their small town hides a fascist plot to overthrow the government.

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