The Throttlepenny Murder


Jessie Smith was just thirteen years old. She had never really meant to harm the old man. Yes it was true she hated him, but no more than many children hate grown-ups who behave unpleasantly to them. But she had never meant to kill him.


The old man's name was Ezekiel Dobson and he ran a high-class grocer's shop in the market town of Lambton. It was his meanness of mind and spirit that wore Jessie down when she came to work for him. Although his shop was a cave of treasures - ruby-red hams, old-gold cheeses, emerald green apples - he was the most miserly man in Lambton. Even the townsfolk called him "Throttlepenny" behind his back. And when he had been murdered, the townspeople forgot he was called Ezekiel Dobson and talked for years about Jessie Smith and the Throttlepenny Murder


Carnegie Shortlisted 1989


"a cleverly plotted thriller, misleading the reader in several directions right up to the end, and carrying a clear anti-capital-punishment message in an artistically satisfying conclusion"

The Times Literary Supplement


"it develops a real cliff-hanger . . . it would make a splendid piece for reading aloud"

The Times Educational Supplement


"a hauntingly horrible story, excellently told . . . the tension is held absolutely"

Children's Books of the Year 1989


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