A Dreadful Murder by Minette Walters

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Click on the image of author Minette Walters to hear her read the foreword and chapter one of A Dreadful Murder.

Quick Read of the month: August


A Dreadful Murder is based on the true story of the shooting of Mrs Caroline Luard, which took place near the small village of Ightham* in Kent, on 24 August 1908. It remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century.

Mrs Luard was shot in broad daylight in the grounds of a large country estate called Frankfield House. She was nearly sixty years old, came from a wealthy, upper-class family, and was known in Ightham* for her charity work with the poor.

Her husband, Major-General Charles Luard, was a County Councillor and a Justice of the Peace. His closest friends were the Chief Constable of Kent and the local MP. He was nearly seventy at the time of his wife’s death. Although no one was ever arrested for the crime, it was believed by many that Charles Luard murdered his wife in cold blood, and that his friends helped him escape justice.

* Pronounced Item

Get talking about this book

The body of a woman lay face down on the veranda. Her feet pointed towards the veranda gate as if she'd mounted the steps, and her head was turned to the side with her left cheek uppermost. (page 6)  

• How do you think Mrs Caroline Luard was killed?
• Why do you think many people believe that it was her husband that murdered her?

More quotes, questions and interesting facts for reading groups to get talking about A Dreadful Murder. Download get talking about A Dreadful Murder in Word format


Play the part

Imagine this book was turned into a TV drama.

•   What famous actors would you cast to play the main roles?
•   Why not try to act out a scene?

Don’t be afraid to improvise with your reading group and play the part in A Dreadful Murder. Download play the part in A Dreadful Murder in Word format

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