The Sad Variety

The Sad Variety
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Nicholas Blake
11 July 2019
Agora Books

The Sad Variety is part of Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways mystery series.

The temperature is dropping, the wind is rising: something sinister is on its way to Smugglers’ Cottage.

Ten guests huddle together in a guest house for their Christmas holidays in the south of England. Among them is Private Investigator Nigel Strangeways, sent by the British security department to keep a close eye on Professor Alfred Wragby – a scientist who has made a recent discovery that could turn the tide of the Cold War. But Wragby isn’t the only one Nigel should be watching…

When Wragby’s eight-year-old daughter is kidnapped and his formula demanded in exchange, Nigel finds himself in a race against the clock to save more than just the young girl’s life. And with an accomplice lurking in their number, Nigel must expose the mole before the situation turns deadly.

The Sad Variety was first published in 1964.


Splendidly rounded and witty characterisation. Glorious chase, with cars and tractor, across snow-covered fields in freezing winter of 1962-63.’ — Sunday Telegraph

‘Another Nigel Strangeways winner.’ — Reader Review

‘His plots are ingenious.’ — Times Literary Supplement

‘A master of detective fiction.’ — Daily Telegraph

‘The Nicholas Blake books are something quite by themselves in English detective fiction.’ — Elizabeth Bowen

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