Black Eye (Johnny Black Mystery Book 1)

Written by Neville Steed

‘Steed’s debut … won the John Creasey Memorial Award for the best first crime novel of 1986; his second consolidates this promise.’ — The Times

1937, Devon.

Johnny Black is a young and penniless pilot turned detective in the glamorous yet dangerous thirties.

His girlfriend, the lovely Tracy Spencer-King, enlists him to help a friend, Diana Travers, and the unfolding tragedy becomes his first case.

Diana’s sister, Deborah, died a few months before in what Diana believes are suspicious circumstances.

Apparently Deborah was riding with her husband, the actor Michael Seagrave, in his new Frazer-Nash sports car on Bigbury Sands when – like the star Isadora Duncan – her long scarf got tangled in the wheels and broke her neck.

Despite police being satisfied that Deborah’s death was a tragic accident, Diana thinks that Seagrave murdered his wife. But does Diana know more than she is letting on?

Johnny’s investigations soon begin to support Diana’s doubts, for Seagrave proves to be a long standing philanderer and is currently pursuing a girl employed by a dancing academy, Daphne Phipps, and Susan Prendergast the daughter of a rich tycoon.

Suspicions deepen when the dancer disappears and Johnny unearths some unsavoury facts about Seagrave’s past.

Soon Black is up to his neck in murder and mayhem, as another key figure disappears and a blood-stained jacket turns up on the back of a murderer who has escaped from Dartmoor.

It soon becomes clear that whoever is behind the disappearances might just want Johnny and Tracy dead too …

Black Eye, a novel in the great classic tradition of British thrillers, recounts the first case handled by the Black Eye Detective Agency, set up in Torquay, Devon, by a young and impecunious ex-pilot, Johnny Black.

Praise for Neville Steed:

‘Steed’s debut Tinplate … won the John Creasey Memorial Award for the best first crime novel of 1986; his second consolidates this promise.’ — The Times

‘Mr Steed’s sense of humour endears … all the details about model-making are fascinating.’ — Punch

Neville Steed lives in South Devon, where the main action of Black Eye takes place. He read Law at Oxford and has travelled extensively. His interests include anything and everything connected with the motor car, aviation, the cinema and the Art Deco world of the 1930s. He is married with four sons.

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