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Download The Language of the Dead: A World War II Mystery Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Language of the Dead: A World War II Mystery, by Stephen Kelly Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Kelly Narrator: Shaun Grindel Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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As the shadow of World War II descends over Europe, Detective Inspector Thomas Lamb hunts for an elusive killer behind the veil of a seemingly charming English village.

German bombers are arriving daily, seeking to crush England. But in a rural Hampshire village, things have remained fairly quiet—until an elderly loner, Will Blackwell, is brutally murdered. The method of his killing bears the hallmarks of the traditional vanquishing of a witch, and indeed, local legend claims that as a boy, Blackwell encountered a ghostly black dog sent from the devil, who struck a bargain for Blackwell’s soul.

Not long after the murder a young woman, who is carrying the illegitimate child of a fighter pilot, is also violently killed; then a local drunkard ends up in the race of an abandoned mill with the back of his head bashed in. As the Germans continue their relentless attack, Detective Inspector Thomas Lamb rushes to solve the crimes. Do the killer’s motivations lie in the murky regions of the occult?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kelly fantastically recreates the claustrophobic mood of England under siege with period details.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Kelly’s strong writing weaves these diverse strands into a cohesive whole. The novel vividly evokes the era and setting…Recommended.”

    Historical Novel Society

  • “Fans of well-researched historical mysteries, particularly the work of Charles Todd and Charles Finch, will welcome this solid debut that introduces a complex, driven hero who is both a product of his time and relatable in our modern age. Here’s hoping this will be the first of many installments featuring the endearing Lamb.”

    Library Journal

  • “A fine-grained first novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “The abundance of villagers—aristocrats, sheep farmers, urchins, wounded soldiers, orphans, and an alcoholic police sergeant—gives narrator Shaun Grindell a splendid opportunity to make each character unique and credible. In addition, Grindell delivers the narrative in a clear, straightforward manner. The author is fortunate to have his debut novel read by such an accomplished narrator.”


  • “Kelly transports his reader fully and with convincing authenticity to a different time and place. They just happen to be a time of war and a place of darkness and menace—and once he’s got you there, he spins his web of intrigue with expert ease. Superb stuff!”

    Craig Russell, author of the Fabel and Lennox thriller series

  • “Filled with believable, psychologically complex characters in a vividly evoked historical setting, this superbly written, suspenseful mystery keeps the reader guessing from the very beginning to a startling conclusion.”

    Gary Inbinder, author of The Devil in Montmartre

  • “Stephen Kelly’s The Language of the Dead is a gripping mystery set in the middle of the German air raids on Britain in World War Two. Grisly murder, war, the occult, and lively characters with dark secrets all come together in this fine story.”

    Philip Freeman, author of St. Brigid’s Bones

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About the Author

Stephen Kelly is an award-winning writer, reporter, editor and newspaper columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post, and Baltimore magazine. He has a master of arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and has taught writing and journalism at Hopkins, Towson University, in Baltimore, and Sweet Briar College, in Virginia. He lives in Columbia, Maryland.