Ruth Dudley Edwards

This journalist and historian writes ebullient novels frilled with entertaining eccentrics. Her last three satires on the British establishment star the noisy and outrageously anarchic reactionary Baroness Ida "Jack" Troutbeck. Matricide at St Martha’s revolves around an outbreak of political correctness in a musty Cambridge women’s college; Ten Lords A-Leaping involves warfare in the House of Lords over a fox-hunting bill; and Murder in a Cathedral hinders on a deadly struggle between evangelical puritans and high church gays. Her eighth, Publish and be Murdered, which comes out in May, is set in a right-wing political magazine locked in a death struggle over its policy towards New Labour. In addition to the jokes and mockery that fill her well-written novels, she has a talent for recreating the pleasures of loyal friendship, which adds an appealing warmth to her work.

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