Julian Rhind-Tutt reads Ian Sansom's new comic thriller, The Norfolk Mystery.
It's 1937 and Stephen Sefton is drifting. Just a year earlier, he'd left London in a fever of idealism to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Now he is back, injured both mentally and physically. He has turned into a seething mass of self- pity. He's at rock bottom and penniless. So when he sees an advert for an assistant to a writer, he applies. His interviewer is the People's Professor; Swanton Morley - whose type of learning is the sort scorned by academia but loved by the masses, who lap up his books with titles like 'Morley's Art for All' and 'Morley's Old Wild West.'
His latest project is to be called The County Guides. It's a typically ambitious plan to celebrate the best of England county by county, from the wheelwrights of Devon to the shoe makers of Northampton, and covering sport, natural history and every other conceivable subject in between. They're starting in Norfolk, but they're going to be distracted by a dark discovery and a host of eccentric characters - not all of whom react well to Morley's manner, his pedigree or his un-flinching quest to reveal the truth.
The book is abridged by Lauris Morgan-Griffiths.
Producer: Sarah Langan.