Murder on the Home Front

  • by Molly Lefebure
  • Narrated by Lucy Scott
  • 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is 1941. While the 'war of chaos' rages in the skies above London, an unending fight against violence, murder and the criminal underworld continues on the streets below. One ordinary day, in an ordinary courtroom, forensic pathologist Dr Keith Simpson asks a keen young journalist to be his secretary. Although the 'horrors of secretarial work' don't appeal to Molly Lefebure, she's intrigued to find out exactly what goes on behind a mortuary door.
Capable and curious, 'Miss Molly' quickly becomes indispensible to Dr Simpson as he meticulously pursues the truth. Accompanying him from sombre morgues to London's most gruesome crime scenes, Molly observes and assists as he uncovers the dark secrets that all murder victims keep. With a sharp sense of humour and a rebellious spirit, Molly tells her own remarkable true story here with warmth and wit, painting a vivid portrait of wartime London.

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Murder, war, trials and sardine sandwiches

In 1941, Molly Lefebure was a newspaper reporter. While following a case at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court, she was offered a secretarial job by renowned pathologist Dr (Cedric) Keith Simpson (who she then refers to affectionately as CKS throughout the rest of the book). As she wanted to be a writer, Molly eventually decided to accept the offer as she felt it would provide good experience and knowledge.



So, while World War 2 raged on and London was living through the Blitz, Molly was travelling across London and much of the south east visiting murder scenes, helping Simpson examine bodies and going to trials.



Molly walked an average 12 miles a day, worked from 8.30am to 10.30pm, seven days a week and was paid a starting salary of £1 a week. She also had to deal with people’s perceptions of her new role. There is a fabulous passage about the difference between the reactions between male and female friends, when they are alone, or in mixed company.



Peppered amongst the quite vivd descriptions of murders and trials, there is a lot of talk of lunch, tea and sardine sandwiches. The first night after she’d started the role, her landlady served her up a pork chop, and Molly reflected that if she didn’t eat it then, she would be likely to have turned vegetarian. So she made sure she ate it!



There was so much to love about this book – not just the interesting (sometimes high profile) cases, but insight into the judicial system (murderers were still hung at this time) and a matter-of-fact account of every day life living during the war (on 23rd August 1944, Molly would have loved to have been celebrating the liberation of Paris, but found herself eating sardine sandwiches and catching a train to Ashford together with armies of families of hop-pickers – including all their belongings, screaming children and cats & dogs!).



Molly gave up the job when she became engaged and originally this book was published in 1
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- Sonia

home front

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, both audibly and hard copy. I would recommend it to anyone interested in crime and forensics
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- Irene Rea

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-03-2013
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK