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The Twilight Hour

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction, Crime

The Twilight Hour

Elizabeth Wilson

Amid the seedy glamour and big freeze of London in 1947, a murder unravels a web of deceit

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847655158 (30 Jul 2015)

About the book

London, 1947: it's freezing winter in the shabby, bomb-damaged city. Young socialite Dinah Wentworth, a bright, innocent newcomer to the Fitzrovia scene, becomes embroiled in a dark scandal when she discovers the corpse of surrealist artist Titus Mavor. Not wanting to explain her reasons for being at Mavor's flat that evening, she decides against reporting her grim discovery to the police.

But her silence has terrible consequences. Dinah's husband's friend, Colin Harris, is linked to the crime and arrested on suspicion of murder. Dinah realises someone is trying to frame him and knows she must uncover the real villain before Harris is hanged.

Set against the background of the Cold War, post-war shortages, and the struggling British film industry, Elizabeth Wilson's elegant noir vividly evokes the fashions and politics of a bohemian community flourishing in defiance of austerity. The Twilight Hour is a riveting thriller with a corkscrew twist.

About the author

My family was involved in running the British Empire in increasingly lowly positions sliding slowly down the social scale. They felt quite dislocated after the Second World War and my mother led a very marginal existence. Perhaps because of this she had me educated at St Paul's Girls' School, where I encountered a completely different world of the Jewish and non Jewish intelligentsia, and then at Oxford. Possibly because of the discrepancy between home background and sophisticated educational milieu I was extremely rebellious. I trained as a psychiatric social worker because of an interest in psychoanalysis, but throughout 10 years working in the field I was repelled by its conservative ethos and morality and eventually escaped to a polytechnic. By this time I was involved in Gay Liberation and the Women's Movement, which defined the 1970s for me. In the 1980s I became a lesbian co-parent and later a parent governor at Camden School for Girls. Beginning in the mid-70s I wrote a number of polemical/academic works about women, and then shifted into an interest in fashion and dress. For some years I was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, but am now a Green Party member. I am currently working on another novel and also on a book about the necessity of atheism.


This is an atmospheric book in which foggy, half-ruined London is as much a character as the artists and good-time girls who wander through its pages. It would be selfish to hope for more thrillers from Wilson, who has other intellectual fish to fry, but The Twilight Hour is so good that such selfishness is inevitable

- Roz Kaveney, Time Out

A vivid portrait of bohemian life in Fitzrovia during the austerity of 1947 and the coldest winter of the twentieth century

- Literary Review

The iciness of the winter of 1947 rises off the page to nip your fingers... [An] exciting, quirky story and a gripping evocation of an icy time

- Independent

Fantastically atmospheric... The cinematic quality of the novel, written as if it were a black and white film with the sort of breathy dialogue that reminds you of Brief Encounter, is its trump card

- Sunday Express

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction, Crime

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