First published in 1959, this innovative narrative – a mix of ‘poet’s novel’ and ‘whodunnit’ – is set in the fictional valleys town of Cilhendre at the time of the Lock Out that followed the General Strike of May 1926.
Cilhendre’s annual August carnival is disturbed by the discovery of the corpse of the local colliery manager. Murder in their midst causes the villagers’ loyalties to be stretched to their limits. Torn between the miners’ cause and a desire for justice, the people turn to local JP and miner’s butty DJ Williams. DJ finds himself in conflict with Inspector Evans, a policeman who has turned his back on his Welsh roots. Adding to the tumult the body of a stillborn child is discovered nearby. Why should one death pass almost unnoticed and the other prompt disruption to a whole community? The answer to this mystery is rooted in the history and culture of the South Wales valleys in the early 20th century.
Runner up in the CWA 1959 Gold Dagger Award
Menna Gallie (1920 – 90) was born and raised in Ystradgynlais, near Swansea. Strike for a Kingdom is the first of her six novels and was shortlisted for the CWA crime novel of the year. This Honno Classics edition includes an introduction by Angel V. John, Honorary Professor of History at Aberystwyth University.
Brought back into print in 2003 by Honno, with a new edition in 2011. This book forms part of the Welsh Women’s Classics series, an imprint which brings books in English by women writers from Wales, long since out of print, to a new generation of readers.