A Clear Conscience by Frances Fyfield
A Helen West Mystery: Helen West #5
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
Helen West, Crown prosecutor in domestic violence court, is working up a good case of burnout: justice-by-the-book doesn’t seem to be working for the women she represents. Plus, Helen’s love affair with Police Superintendent Geoffrey Bailey is losing its fire. Things suddenly heat up when Helen learns that humble Cath, her cleaning woman, is being beaten by her husband. Cath has no family-her beautiful brother, Damien, has recently been brutally murdered-and needs all the help she can get. But as the truth of Cath’s young life, marriage, and her brother’s murder begin to take shape, help and justice seem hard to come by . . . and may prove forever beyond reach.
What is your most treasured painting?
Don’t get me talking about paintings, or you’ll be here a while. I’ve collected oil paintings, sketches and drawings for as long as I can remember, and every time a book or a short story is produced, I find something new. The latest one enchants me. It’s a small oil sketch, painted circa 1890 by a British artist not known and depicts a woman wearing either a dressing gown or a kimono, sitting at table, reading by the light of a shaded oil lamp that throws a huge shadow of her head against the wall behind. She is entirely unconscious of the shadow, or her own beauty: she is not posing, but is entirely unselfconscious and absorbed in her book. The painting glows in the dark and is utterly serene. Which I am not. I like her so much, I get up in the night to look at her.
About the Author
I grew up in rural Derbyshire, but my adult life has been spent mostly in London, with long intervals in Norfolk and Deal, all inspiring places. I was educated mostly in convent schools; then studied English and went on to qualify as a solicitor, working for what is now the Crown Prosecution Service, thus learning a bit about murder at second hand. Years later, writing became the real vocation, although the law and its ramifications still haunt me and inform many of my novels.
I’m a novelist, short story writer for magazines and radio, sometime Radio 4 contributor, (Front Row, Quote Unquote, Night Waves,) and presenter of Tales from the Stave. When I’m not working (which is as often as possible), I can be found in the nearest junk/charity shop or auction, looking for the kind of paintings which enhance my life. Otherwise, with a bit of luck, I’m relaxing by the sea with a bottle of wine and a friend or two.
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