Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Dead Sit Round in a Ring

The Dead Sit Round in a Ring

Detective Stella Mooney Novels (Volume 1)

David Lawrence

Minotaur Books



Jimmy Stone died of a broken heart. Literally.

"A really interesting set of main characters, taut plotting, fine writing, and some engrossing subplots make this a highly satisfying read and a series to keep an eye on."
--Morning Star (U.K.)

"Four people sitting in a ring. Two men and two women. All of them dead." Thus begins a case that will take detective Stella Mooney from the fabulous flats of Notting Hill to the decidedly tougher side of town. It's no wonder Stella feels like she's going round in circles.
Her personal life is also going awry. Her live-in-lover has yet to be told her has serious competition in the form of sexy newsman John Delaney, nightmares are an ongoing problem, and Stella's vodka habit is not improving. She's trying to keep everything together long enough to catch the killer. The problem is, the nearer she gets to solving the case, the closer the rest of her life comes to falling apart . . . .


Praise for The Dead Sit Round in a Ring

“[A]n interestingly flawed heroine . . . and a perspective on London that is darker and grittier than in conventional treatments. Whether he's describing a bizarre death scene or observing a group of streetwalkers plying their night trade, Lawrence, a published poet, writes with a delicacy and restraint rare in the genre . . . . Lawrence's refined tongue can spit venom. That's a voice you want to hear again.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Rough dialogue, intricate plotting and cascading suspense. . . Readers are sure to want to see more of the memorable Stella” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Brash, complex, and beautifully written. An auspicious series debut with the compellingly flawed Stella at its heart.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“From the spontaneous dialogue to the clear, convincing procedure and the menacing atmosphere, there isn't a single false note in this striking debut, which earns pride of place deep in the darkest circle of noir, down past Ian Rankin and John Harvey to the shadows where lurk Ken Bruen and Derek Raymond.” —Booklist (starred review)

“[E]ngrossing. . .a gritty, noirish police procedural about the "near-to-the-knuckle" work done by cops who care about what they do. . . . this series is to be devoutly desired.” —Michele Leber, Library Journal

“With John Harvey's Charlie Resnick out to pasture and Ian Rankin's John Rebus getting a bit too big for his britches, where are the tough new Brit coppers coming from? Try this highly touted first mystery from London-based poet and screenwriter David Lawrence, who introduces us to Detective Sgt. Stella Mooney of West London's Area Major Investigation Pool.” —Chicago Tribune

“[S]tylish . . . punchy, quick moving prose . . . The plotting is slick and well paced, the writing smooth, and the characters, especially Mooney herself, are complex. By the end of this novel you will want to know more about this woman . . . . superb tension” —Mystery News

“Fans of the PBS series Prime Suspect or of hot Scottish writer Ian Rankin shouldn't wait to check out this debut mystery. . . The Dead Sit Round in a Ring will surely be one of the best mysteries of the summer, probably of the year. A gripping plot and complex, compelling characters would be enough to put this book at the top of the list - but Lawrence turns out to be an excellent writer whose uncluttered prose gives his story the gleam of a city street on a rainy night.” —Jane Dickinson, Rocky Mountain News

“[A]n extremely dark police procedural that is quite exciting and realistic. . . The story line is more urban noir . . . [and] is a terrific tale” —Harriet Klausner

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

David Lawrence

David Lawrence is an acclaimed poet and highly successful scriptwriter. The second novel in the Stella Mooney series, Nothing Like the Night, was published by Thomas Dunne Books in 2005.

David Lawrence



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    From the Publisher

    Minotaur Books

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