The Death of Kings

The Death of Kings

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Rennie Airth is one of the best detective writers around. And The Death of Kings is his best book yet."--Philip Kerr, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Side of Silence

In the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed John Madden series, the former Scotland Yard detective returns in a gripping post-World War II mystery that will delight fans of Philip Kerr

On a hot summer day in 1938, a beautiful actress is murdered on the grand Kent estate of Sir Jack Jessup, close friend of the Prince of Wales. The arrest of an ex-convict and his subsequent confession swiftly bring the case to a close, but in 1949, the reappearance of a jade necklace raises questions about the murder. Was the man convicted and executed the decade before truly guilty?

Though happily retired from the police force, John Madden is persuaded to investigate the case afresh. In a story of honor and justice that takes Madden through the idyllic English countryside, post-war streets of London, and into the criminal underworld of the Chinese Triads, The Death of Kings is an atmospheric and captivating police procedural.
Publisher: New York : Viking, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780399563454
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY AIRTH R
Characteristics: 356 pages ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 18, 2017

Not nearly up to the standard of his first book, River of Darkness, about a serial killer coming out of WW1 and before, which was the best book I read this year.

Aug 26, 2017

This is a good read in a good series. As always the characters are interesting, the settings well laid out and the plot story line moves along crisply. Very well written series of books, I hope there is another one.

Apr 03, 2017

Had I read this in the early 50s I would probably have been more taken by the book. I commend the author for his capturing the staid English qualities of the time, but I found the story rather ponderous.

Mar 05, 2017

Ham-handed clauses that do not flow, wooden dialog and repetitive repetitive repetitive storytelling.

Sloppy research about China, leading to superficial, stereotypical and even flawed data. Wing is not a surname? Lee is not a surname?! 王 and 李 are like Miller and Jones. These phonetic spellings were (and still are) typical for Cantonese-speaking families, especially in HK and London.

There’s a bit of interesting post-WWII detail about English everyday life.

Miraculously, the last full chapter was solid, probably because Airth, in his wrapping up, was finally forced to tell a story in a disciplined and thus lyrical fashion.

Feb 27, 2017

An English "country house" murder mystery in the grand style of the golden age. Airth's deceptively understated prose style soon has you roped in to a puzzling, atmospheric, and suspenseful old-school police procedural, set in late 1940s Britain. Once again Inspector John Madden, now retired, investigates, this time with the assistance of his daughter. Fans of Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Allyn mysteries will rejoice.

Jan 28, 2017

A ten-year-old cold case involving the murder of a young actress Portia Blake at a country house weekend gets fresh scrutiny when a jade necklace she wore turns up. Airth’s police procedurals are so well done. Since John Madden is retired now, we got to know his wife and daughter more in this one. Love this series.

Dec 02, 2016

the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed John Madden series


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top