Upon first publication in 1962, crime readers welcomed police sergeant Charmian Daniels, the attractive new recruit to novel detectives whose blend of diffidence and determination would take her far. In Come Home and Be Killed she is working on a dangerous-looking domestic puzzle which has an unmistakable air of worse to come.
Kathy is a career girl who dearly loves her home, but the home contains a stepmother whose cosy, embracing warmth is not to be mistaken for love. Mumsy and her daughter Janet have a bad habit of battening on Kathy, and their ways are observed with fascinated disapproval by Emily next door. Their disappearance could be a pleasure and relief if it were not for certain worrying traces about the house, and the ominous, inscrutable behaviour of their men.
Jennie Melville, a pseudonym for Gwendoline Butler, was born and brought up in south London, and was one of the most universally praised of English mystery authors. She wrote over fifty novels under both names. Educated at Haberdashers, she read history at Oxford, and later married Dr Lionel Butler, Principal of Royal Holloway College. She had one daughter, who survives her.
Gwendoline Butler's crime novels are hugely popular in both Britain and the United States, and her many awards included the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger. She was also selected as being one of the top two hundred crime writers in the world by The Times.