Joan Lock

Dead Image, The First Detective Best Mystery

Dead Image 2000 Large Print Dead Image Audio Dead Image cover
Hale, 2000 Large Print
Ulverscroft, 2001
Audio Book,
Soundings, 2001
Paperback & eBook
The Mystery Press, 2012

Order from Amazon UK
Order audio book Amazon UK

Published by the Mystery Press (Fiction Imprint of the History Press) March 2012

The explosion was heard twenty miles away. It killed canal boatmen and wrecked the exotic Pompeian villa of Lawrence Alma-Tadema, the fashionable St John's Wood artist. But what caused the 1874 Regent's Park Explosion? Fenian bombs? Sabotage by rival railways or other firms? Or was it something personal?

And whose was the other body found in the canal? An artist's model? The missing King's Cross barmaid? Or another victim of the so-called Thames murderer?

As he struggles to find the answers, Scotland Yard's Sergeant Ernest Best straddles the conflicting worlds of art, wealth and privilege and that of the poverty-stricken canal boatmen in an intriguing mystery that will change his life forever.



'Joan Lock's Dead Image finds new material among the teeming Holmesian possibilities of late-Victorian London ...moves easily between rough-and-ready canal folk and the fashionable London artistic community....a solidly researched crime novel.'
The Times

'Dead Accurate'
Waterways World

'. . . a novel I recommend without reservation.'
Sherlock Holmes Magazine

"Joan Lock paints an interesting portrait of life in 1874, and the problems for a young Sergeant faced with interviewing the rich and privileged in order to uncover a murderer, and obtain justice for those less fortunate. DEAD IMAGE reveals a fascinating insight into Victorian life coupled with marvellous characterisation, and an intriguing, and most satisfying mystery. This is the first book in which we meet Detective Sergeant Ernest Best. There are a further six books in this highly acclaimed series."
EUROCRIME Lizzie Hayes, May 2012

"This is a well-researched novel, full of detail of the lives and working conditions of canal boat men in the Victorian era. An intriguing mystery with some well-drawn characters and an unusual romance."
avid reader AVA March 2012

'Lock's solid first mystery featuring Det. Sgt. Ernest Best centers on the historic Regent's Park disaster . . .  Lovers of the Victorian era will appreciate the author's attention to the details of period life, while recent headlines give her depiction of the explosion and its aftermath fresh poignancy.'
Publisher's Weekly, May 2013

'A good read and an atmospheric invocation of a past age'
Journal of the Islington Archaeology and History Society, Spring 2013