The Worm of Death

Worm of Death
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Nicholas Blake
12 April 2018
Agora Books

The Worm of Death is part of Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways mystery series.  

So there it is. He intends to kill me. And I must let him kill me.

A thick fog has settled over London as Nigel Strangeways and Clare make their way through Greenwich to dine with Dr. Piers Loudron. Over a bizarre evening, Nigel observes the strange relationships between the Loudron siblings and their father. Dismissive of some and doting on others, it seems that Dr. Loudron plays favourites. And as discussion turns to investigations and criminality, diaries and balance sheets, Nigel feels a little troubled.

Three days later, Nigel learns that Dr. Loudron has gone missing – wearing only his overcoat. Loudron’s children all have varying theories: he was distrait at dinner – no, he was sulking – or was he waiting for something? Addled by the suffocating fog still ensconcing Greenwich, no one can agree. A search ensues for Loudron’s diary – and the secrets it may hold.

But when a mangled body is pulled from the Thames, suspicion turns inward on the family. With the cause of death unable to rule out suicide or murder, more questions arise, more fingers are pointed, and more alibis are discredited. It seems the culprit (if there is one) is flinging suspicions around indiscriminately.

As Nigel becomes more and more embroiled with the family’s affairs, his own life may be at risk. With too many motives and too many clues, will Nigel be able to solve his mystery before it costs him his own life?

The Worm of Death was first published in 1961.


‘This is a classical detective tale. Mr. Blake tirelessly and entertainingly baffles the reader, bringing in lots of sharply distinguished characters… The Greenwich scenery is excellent.’ — Times Literary Supplement

‘A straightforward whodunit of classical pattern…our main business is certainly the puzzle, which Mr. Blake works out resourcefully. What is undoubtedly fresh and first-class in this book is the topographical background, the brilliantly accurate descriptions of Greenwich.’ — Sunday Telegraph

Excellent stuff, smooth, but with as many undercurrents as the Pool of London at midnight.’ — Daily Herald

The thriller of the weekabsolutely first-rate by an established master. Full marks and five stars.’ — Sphere

‘Enthralling as any of Nicholas Blake’s earlier books, as well written and developed, and as fair to the crime addict.’ —Books of the Month

‘Murder in Greenwich lovely and excellently described.’ —Sunday Times

‘The hero of the book is Greenwich itself, drawn in all its squalor and splendour with topographical expertise. Mr. Blake is always putting on his poet’s hat in this book, and the result is a winner.’ —Daily Telegraph

‘His wordsmanship is just brilliant, his stories so readable, the pictures he paints are just so for the era.’ — 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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