Briefs Encountered by Julian Clary is published in hardback by Ebury Press, priced £12.99. Available March 29.

Known more for his acerbic humour than his writing, Julian Clary's third novel is a wondrous and witty story that rises crescendo-like into a magnificently sculpted piece of dark horror.

Set over two periods of time, we are introduced to Richard, a successful actor of stage and screen, and to Noel Coward, the high society playwright.

Richard rose to fame playing Noel, so when the opportunity arises to buy a bolt-hole in the country previously owned by Coward he jumps at the chance. His devoted personal assistant Jess accompanies him, alongside his long-term partner Richard.

But transferring his city life to the Kent countryside has its ups and downs. What appears to be the perfect idyll begins to harbour feelings of things going bump in the night, almost echoing events from Coward's time at Goldenhurst.

Briefs Encountered is a twisting tale of families, lovers, mysterious deaths and obsession.


(Review by Rachel Howdle)