Out on 20 June 2024

The Final Act of Juliette Willoughby

Ellery Lloyd

20 June 2024
336 pages


'Intoxicating, enthralling, compelling' Harriet Tyce

‘Bold and ambitious and consuming from start to finish’ Louise Candlish

A stunning, intricately plotted and clever mystery’ Claire Douglas

‘Think The Secret History meets Saltburn’ Holly Watt


Some women can’t be erased from history . . .

A story of love and madness, of obsession and revenge.

Paris, 1938: Runaway heiress Juliette Willoughby perishes, with her married lover, in an accidental studio fire alongside her Surrealist masterpiece, Self-Portrait as Sphinx.

Cambridge, 1991: Two art history students stumble across proof something sinister was at play in Juliette's death, threatening to expose the long-buried secrets of the artist's aristocratic family.

Dubai, now: An art dealer is accused of the brutal murder of his oldest friend – the last surviving member of the Willoughby dynasty.

Three suspicious deaths over the course of a century.

Is the key to unlocking them all hidden in Juliette Willoughby’s lost painting?


‘A clever, richly imagined, first-class mystery. A story both thrilling and deeply layered, touching and fun. I loved it.’ Chris Whitaker

‘A whip smart page turner with twists and turns that'll keep a hold on you right up until the final, gripping denouement. A terrific, hands down, five star read.’ John Marrs

‘A big complex thriller about art, family secrets and dark academia and is hugely entertaining and fun. Fans of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair will love it.’ Mark Edwards

Intoxicating, entralling, compelling ... the reclaiming of an artist's story wrapped up in a mystery with a great love story to boot. I loved it!
An original, compulsive and brilliantly told mystery set within a world of secrets and privilege spanning decades and continents. Like a reversal of the painting at its centre, the layers of the story are carefully peeled back until the picture is revealed. From the first page to the last, I loved it.
Indiana Jones meets The Thomas Crown Affair - an art-world thriller that blends Bullingdon Club hijinks with an academic adventure so richly drawn you'll be googling to see whether it really happened.Egyptology, Surrealism and country house mystery - Juliette Willoughby is the new Da Vinci Code.