The Gilded Edge
It's the Swinging Sixties but not all barriers have come down - the aristocrats and financial power players still gather around the exclusive gaming tables of the Montcler Club in Berkeley Square while the rest slum it in the underground ska clubs and elicit drinking dens in Notting Hill.
And it's against this background of London society and villainy that detective Vince Treadwell enters when investigating the seemingly unrelated murder of a young black woman in Notting Hill and blue-blooded Johnny Beresford in Belgravia. As Vince digs deeper he finds himself embroiled in a secret world of debauchery and corruption, where the underworld happily mixes with the aristocracy, and where no one remains an innocent victim.
Praise for Kiss Me Quick:
'A thrilling read.'
- Buzz Magazine
'Dark and involved.'
- Daily Express
'This unusual and atmospheric crime novel suggests that Danny Miller is a writer to watch.'
- Good Book Guide
'...one of those books that literally grabs you from page one.'
- The Week
London to kill Beresford, and then whisked you right back out again.’ ‘Proof?’ Vince reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the playing cards – the plain pack of Waddington cards. ‘I found these in the drawer of Beresford’s card table.’ He searched Ruley’s face for clues, a tautness of tension around the mouth, an involuntary pulse, a glimmer of revelation in the eyes. But all he saw was that Guy Ruley was a good enough poker player not to give his hand away with twitchy tells or showy
London’s high society. And for Nicky DeVane, to belong was everything, to be ostracized was oblivion. Mac looked at his watch – time to go. He stood up and asked Vince, ‘You ready?’ Vince shot his cuffs, gave a nod, and they headed towards the door. Before they were out of the living room, Mac’s eye caught the glinting cobra rising up in its stand by the record player, and asked: ‘Can you play that thing?’ The alto sax had been delivered to Vince’s flat two days ago. It was a gift from Isabel
club, a supreme raconteur.’ ‘Johnny the Joker, I believe?’ ‘Yes, always the joker,’ Goldsachs murmured wistfully. The tycoon then slapped his thigh as if to break himself out of this melancholy, abruptly stood up, and said forcefully, ‘Let me show you something! You know, I had a favourite uncle called Vincent . . . your name is Vincent, isn’t it?’ Vince said it was. He’d noticed how Goldsachs had slowly eroded the ‘Detective’ title over the course of their conversation. ‘Yes, Vincent, I
multi-papered joint, about the size of a traffic cone, that was docked in the ashtray on the bedside table. The thing looked as if it must have half a pine forest stuffed in it. And when the torch was lit, and the giant jazz fag was fired up, its stems and seeds crackled and popped, and the whole room swiftly smelled like a bonfire. As Tyrell Lightly looked back defiantly at the coppers, and blew big billowy smoke rings in their direction, that might as well have been sky-writing spelling out:
being covered in birds and bird shit. He re-made this family’s fortune many times over. Oh, we’ve tarted that fortune up over the years with property and farming and gilts and bonds, but it’s the shit that underwrites it all. Shit.’ At that, the ambassador turned and raised a grateful glass to the wily old shit-shoveller in the portrait, then took a hearty swig of his single malt. ‘But you’re not here to hear talk about shit,’ he continued, refocusing his gaze on the detective before him.