Minette Walters, The Scold’s Bridle
Minette Walters is a best selling novelist that happens to write crime. She has won numerous awards for her trade mark stand alone psychological thrillers that raise social questions. This novel was awarded the highest award for a crime novel by the Crime Writers’ Association and the Scorpion edition was only 75 numbered and signed copies in a special binding with an appreciation by Andrew Taylor.
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Minette Walters was recognized at the beginning of her crime writing career as a talented fresh voice. Her first three novels all received critical acclaim and awards from the crime writing fraternity. The Ice House (1992), her début received the John Creasey Award, followed by The Sculptress (1993) the Edgar in the USA and The Scold’s Bridle the CWA’s Gold Dagger. Minette Walters has written some fourteen novels to-date. Many of them have been televised on the small screen, including this novel in 1998 with the actors Miranda Richardson, Bob Peck and Douglas Hodge.
Plotline: Mathilda Gillespie, an eccentric recluse known for her incredible meanness of nature, is found dead in her bathtub, her wrists slashed and her head locked inside a so-called ‘scold’s bridle’, a rusted cage built with tongue clamps which was used as a torture device throughout the Middle Ages. The dead woman’s only friend, Dr. Sarah Blakeney, becomes prime suspect in her murder after police discover that she’s been left a great deal of money in the will. To clear her name, Sarah delves deep into Mathilda’s mysterious past, and subsequently unravels an intricate web of greed, abuse and depravity.
The Scold’s Bridle was recommended to us by Colin Dexter’s editor, Maria Rejt. We are pleased she did for it was awarded the Gold Dagger! Ms Walters is an outstanding talent and has been a collected author since this book was published. These a a couple of copies unearthed in a box left to one side when we moved. Talented award-winning author Andrew Taylor provided the appreciation.