The Executioner's Tale
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The Executioner’s Tale is a vigilante plot with a twist: justice is in the shape of a female pensioner – a reluctant one at that, who is accidentally drawn into the role of executioner.

“I believe most people have considered murder at one time or other in their lives. Some actually go so far as imagining the act. A very few put their fantasies into action. An accident made me one of that number.”

This is the fictionalised autobiography of a serial killer, or, as she would see herself, ‘an instrument of justice’. The first death is accidental, when she confronts the husband of her neighbour, a notorious wife-beater. But at this point she realises that her age, rather than being a negative, is actually a positive. No one would look at an older woman with suspicion: in fact, most people barely notice the elderly at all. So begins her new ‘career’.

“I’m not a monster. I am someone who crossed a line and chose not to step back.”

One of the significant factors is her loss of faith, but in its place she adopts the utilitarian principle of ‘the greatest good’. All the ‘victims’ are, to her mind, worthy of removal, and range from murderous nurses to paedophiles and drug dealers. In fact, every killing is made to protect or save the vulnerable. Our anonymous subject sees that the courts so often do not, or cannot, provide this justice, and believes in the Old Testament ideal of ‘an eye for an eye’ – or at least a punishment to fit the crime...

The Executioner’s Tale is a gripping, refreshingly original crime novel whose heroine Ginny dubs ‘a modern Miss Marple’ who goes beyond detection to judge – and executioner.


Ginny Stroud spent most of working life in variety of secretarial posts, including an interesting period at the Thames Valley Police offices. Her career diverted into educational publishing for last 15 years, where she worked as picture researcher. Now retired, Ginny lives in Oxford with her husband and two dogs.


I was hooked -- looking toward the each episode, wondering what character was next in line to be dealt with, in a judicial manner. Finishing one tale, I was eager to move to the next... I found it difficult to limit my reading time to that I had available. Several nights, I read much later than I should, all to finish "just one more tale". Good job! You created a book which held my interest and one which I hated to see end.

by Katherine Abbott

Real page turner - had to limit myself to one "tale" at bedtime. Thoroughly recommend.

by Judy Bainton