Whanganuilibrary.com
Normal view MARC view ISBD view

The second-last woman in England / Maggie Joel.

By: Joel, Maggie.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Millers Pont, N. S. W. : Pier 9, 2010Description: 345 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781741964820 (pbk.).Other title: 2nd last woman in England.Subject(s): Murder -- Great Britain -- Fiction | Families -- Great Britain -- Fiction | Nineteen fifties -- Fiction | Families -- Fiction | London (England) -- Social life and customs -- Fiction | Great Britain -- Social life and customs -- 20th century | Great Britain -- Social life and customs -- 20th century -- FictionGenre/Form: General fiction. | Historical fiction.DDC classification: A823.4 Subject: "In London's South Kensington, in the austere years immediately following the end of the war, Mrs Harriet Wallis is convicted of the murder of her husband, Cecil, and is sentenced to death by hanging. Leading a pampered if conventional existence, the Wallises appear to have a contented life. However, when the police turn up at the front door on the day the new nanny arrives, the first of a chain of events that will culminate in Cecil's murder is begun" -- Publisher's description.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Fiction Collection
Fiction Collection JOE 1 Checked out 16/12/2019

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

As the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth began her tour of the Commonwealth, Harriet Wallis awaited the hangman's noose.

"In London's South Kensington, in the austere years immediately following the end of the war, Mrs Harriet Wallis is convicted of the murder of her husband, Cecil, and is sentenced to death by hanging. Leading a pampered if conventional existence, the Wallises appear to have a contented life. However, when the police turn up at the front door on the day the new nanny arrives, the first of a chain of events that will culminate in Cecil's murder is begun" -- Publisher's description.

7 11 18 27 62 74 80 85 89 96 111 135 144 177

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

If Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess Violet Grantham reviewed fiction: It all starts with the purchase of a console television, so it's no surprise that things end badly. The television is to ensure that the Wallis family, their friends, and anointed neighbors can watch the coronation on June 2, 1953, of that Windsor girl in the ease of their comfortable South Kensington home. Just as the newly crowned queen steps out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace, Mrs. Wallis fires six bullets into her husband and is duly tried and found guilty, becoming the second-to-last woman in England to be executed. Once the author has our attention, the story slowly and with totally convincing and elaborate detail portrays the pressure cooker that is that "ideal" 1950s London home. Surrounding the Wallis family is a large cast of characters ranging from a palace functionary and a BBC presenter to a religious zealot from the East-Stepney, I believe-to an Indian pervert. As unruly a mob as ever assembled at dear Downton, but, alas, there's no countess to keep calm and carry on; that's one of the deficiencies among the lower orders. Verdict Along with a hamper from Harrods, this debut novel is the perfect way to commemorate Her Majesty's 60-year reign.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

The title refers to the second-last woman to be executed in England. Although the story is fiction, author Joel did draw on the persona of the last woman to be hung, a stylish society type, for inspiration. Here the murderer is the equally fashionable, wealthy Harriet Wallis, who pumps six shots into her husband on Coronation Day, 1953. The who and how are known from page one. But the why? Well, that takes readers through some twists and turns and into some dark places, including one particular character's mind. Joel sets all of this up quite cleverly. The Wallises and their two children seem to be a typically upper-crust family, plodding, even dull, but secrets boil beneath the surface, especially for Harriet, whose brother, a WWII deserter, has unexpectedly returned from Canada. And the new nanny, her whole family dead in a bomb blast, has ulterior motives of her own when she takes the job. Joel finely crafts not just events but also the backdrop. English life after the war is presented in sharp relief, as vivid as any of the characters.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist