Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Murray of Letho

The Murray of Letho books take Charles Murray, a Scottish gentleman, from his time at St. Andrews University through a period of working for the eccentric Lord Scoggie in Fife to inheriting his father's estate at Letho and living there and in Edinburgh, dutifully solving crimes as he goes! He's already been to India and to the West Coast of Scotland, and is ably assisted by his father's old friend Alester Blair and his moderately devoted servants, quiet Robbins the butler, Mary the mysterious Islander, Daniel and William, unreliable manservants, and Mrs. Mutch the cook. Later they are joined by Walter, a boy of limited talents.

The Murray books so far:

Death in a Scarlet Gown

1802. An ancient Scottish university is wracked by murder. A vindictive professor, an uncouth student, and a man seeking ministry lie dead, but who wanted to kill them? Charles Murray, a student with enough problems of his own, is drawn into the mystery, where neither innocuous accidents nor good friends are all they seem. Death in a Scarlet Gown is the first in the Murray of Letho series, set in Georgian Scotland.

Knowledge of Sins Past

Scotland at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Scoggie Castle is cold and grim, but a refuge to the disinherited Charles Murray. Then a series of mysterious deaths shakes family and servants alike, and splits the local village in two. Murray is thrown once more into the midst of murder, but who has the answer in this dark rural landscape - the pig-lovers or the pig-haters? 

 Service of the Heir: An Edinburgh Murder

Charles Murray is in Edinburgh when tragedy strikes him. The deaths of a lawyer and a servant not only draw him down to the homes of the capital’s grim underclass, but also make him reconsider his elegant society friends. Yet is everything quite as it seems? Who kills – and who gives the orders?

An Abandoned Woman

A hot summer in Fife, and Charles Murray, laird of Letho, is a busy man. His servants’ wing is leaking, his minister’s manse is falling down, his houseguest is annoying and his neighbour’s niece is entrancing. When an unknown woman dies mysteriously on his land, he can hardly find time to investigate her death – until it involves the whole village, and more violence follows.

 Fellowship with Demons

Edinburgh 1810: Charles Murray of Letho, a young gentleman of means, is in much demand: a rich widow, an old friend, and new military acquaintances all need his help. But when Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, sends him an invitation, vanity and curiosity force him to accept – and straightaway he has to deal with murder. Why did a cowardly surgeon kill a drunken engraver? And what would the consequences be, in the rainy mists of autumn? In the end Murray’s answers to his problems will lead to a decision that will change his life.

The Tender Herb: A Murder in Mughal India  

1812 – Recovering in Naples from the intrigues of Scottish politics, Charles Murray is drawn further afield by urgent news of an old servant in distant Mughal India. Going to the aid of one woman, he finds another and is pursued by a third. But that is no recipe for an easy life, and with imperial spies on the streets of Delhi, Murray must investigate the murder that brought him to the East, and redeem himself in his own eyes.

Death of an Officer's Lady

No trace: good.
No way of finding her.
Lt. George Murray needs his brother Charles’ help. One of his fellow officers has not heard from his wife in Edinburgh for several weeks, and he’s worried. George would go himself but Charles is only in Fife and besides, George is waiting in Belgium while a small man named Bonaparte, newly back from Elba, decides whether or not to leave Paris and fight. But what Charles Murray finds out in Edinburgh will not be straightforward, and in the end both brothers’ lives will be in danger, in more ways than one.

Out of a Dark Reflection

The most curious sensation of being watched …
Letho, Fife, 1816: Murray and his guests all have good reasons for not attending Edinburgh’s winter season, even down to the new maid. But then an old woman is found dead in the village, and murmurings of witchcraft are abroad. Suddenly everyone seems to have secrets – but who would kill to keep theirs?

 Slow Death by Quicksilver

It’s a long walk home to Ulster from Glasgow University – and even longer when the journey is interrupted by murder. Murray of Letho is staying with an old friend in the fishing village by Loch Ryan where the unpopular Newell meets his death. Missing his daughter, resenting his mourning and distracted by an abundance of charming female company, Murray struggles to find the murderer amongst a host of suspects, in a village where every second inhabitant has motive, means, and a fine knowledge of poison.

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