Book unearths mystery of the Brunners and Monds
What really happened on the eve of the founding of I.C.I.?

'Formula for Murder', by R.M.Bevan, is a study into a double tragedy that occurred almost eighty years ago. It reopens the case into the deaths of industrialist Roscoe Brunner and his authoress wife Ethel and explores their role in events leading to the formation of Imperial Chemical Industries (I.C.I.) which came to be one of the largest companies in the world, a colossus of the 20th century.

Conceived over a cup of American coffee and put together inside twelve incredible weeks during the closing months of 1926, the creation of I.C.I. involved a merger of four companies with 70,000 workers and more than £65 million of assets. It came to be a testimony to the single-minded determination and business vision of two men, Sir Alfred Mond and Sir Harry McGowan.

Yet at the back of it all was a catalogue of happenings which, to this day, have never been satisfactorily explained.

How and why did Rocoe and Ethel Brunner meet their deaths?

Who tried to suppress the truth by manipulating a woefully inept police investigation and a sham of inquest?

Why was the official Brunner file, relating to what was ostensibly a simple domestic tragedy, classified with Royal and State archives, locked away under Britain’s ‘Hundred Years Rule’ until 2026?

What was the secret that the Brunners took to their grave and who was prepared to go to any lengths to protect the fragile foundations of I.C.I.?

Formula for Murder is about a tragic conflict of loyalty, big business, ambition, power, politics, treachery and murder.

It is also a story about Victorian entrepreneurism and an almost rags-to-riches rise of two families, from humble beginnings to the heart of government and marriage into the Royal families of Europe.

Most of all, it is about a compelling mystery that is supposed never to have existed.

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