Pick up a paperback of The Long, Long Afternoon and transport yourself to California, but beware, even the sunniest of places can hold the darkest secrets.

Inga Vesper‘s wonderful debut was published by Bonnier Books / Manilla Press back in February after a four way auction. There was also great international interest, with the book having been sold into Germany (Rowohlt), the Netherlands (De Fontein), Italy (Edizione Piemme), Spain (Planeta) and the Czech Republic (Grada).

The Long, Long Afternoon is a riveting and deeply atmospheric mystery from the cracked heart of the American Dream.

Yesterday, I kissed my husband for the last time . . .

It’s the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes, California, wilt under the sun. At some point during the long, long afternoon, Joyce Haney, wife, mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind two terrified children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor.

While the Haney’s neighbours get busy organising search parties, it is Ruby Wright, the family’s ‘help’, who may hold the key to this unsettling mystery. Ruby knows more about the secrets behind Sunnylakes’ starched curtains than anyone, and it isn’t long before the detective in charge of the case wants her help. But what might it cost her to get involved?

In these long hot summer afternoons, simmering with lies, mistrust and prejudice, it could only take one spark for this whole ‘perfect’ world to set alight . . .

The Long, Long Afternoon has received stunning reviews:

‘I was hooked from the opening sentence. As well as being a sharp examination of privilege and oppression, it’s also completely gripping and kept me guessing right to the end’ Amanda Mason

‘Reminscent of Hollywood noir, The Long Long Afternoon is a tense, gripping exploration of the darkness beneath the sunny exterior of 50s suburbia’ –  Zoe Somerville

‘Raced through this very atmospheric novel set in a hot American 50s summer. Not just a beguiling murder mystery but also has important things to say about race, gender and class. Loved it!’Araminta Hall

‘Beautifully crafted, claustrophobic and compelling’ – Stacey HallsSunday Times bestselling author.

‘Such a vivid atmosphere of stifling LA heat and stifling 50s domesticity’ – Clare Chambers

‘Breathtakingly stylish, hypnotic and masterfully gripping’ – Chris Whitaker

‘Loved this taut slice of classic noir’C.J. Tudor

We were absolutely thrilled to see The Long, Long Afternoon on the longlist for the Historia HWA Debut Crown!

You can get your paperback copy of Inga’s glorious, award nominated novel, here.