It is 1965, and Angharad Cradock, an imaginative ten-year-old with a head full of the Beatles, loses her lovely neighbour Mrs. Clitheroe to violent murder. This is the third killing in the village, but the most devastating to Annie; she and Mrs. Clitheroe used to play the piano together, they had synaesthesia in common, ‘hearing’ their music in vivid colour and daydreamed together about New York. Worse still, round about the time of the murder, Annie was actually inside Mrs. Clitheroe’s bungalow, for reasons she doesn’t want to explain to the Detective Inspector.
In the present day, Annie struggles with adult dilemmas. The past has never quite left her alone and now its reverberations are strangely persistent, seeping out of the Manhattan skyline reminding her of unpaid debts and unanswered questions. When a photograph album reappears, Annie must finally grow up and face the decisions of her present, and lay to rest the ghosts of 1965.
Set against a soundtrack of the Sixties, and a beguiling present Angharad tells her story with the dry, lilting humour of a ten-year-old sabotaging a murder enquiry, and an adult at the crossroads of her life. This is Jane Yardley’s first novel.
Painting Ruby Tuesday is shortlisted for the Pendleton May/Guildford Arts First Novel Prize 2003.
The Scotsman, 1 February 2003
‘Painting Ruby Tuesday is indeed a comic novel, but one which is elevated by the music which flows through it, and the unusual and original descriptions’
Company Magazine, March 2003
‘A series of murders rocks ten-year-old Annie’s sleepy home town, and she’s the keeper of vital clues… A compelling read’
Guardian, March 2003
‘Bright, engaging and very funny’
Time Out, March 2003
‘Highly original…An entertaining and compelling read filled with rounded, memorable characters and both darkly funny and moving’