The death of a middle-aged spinster competes with the murder of a teenager for the attention of DC Sukey Reynolds (A Fool There Was, 2009, etc.).
When Councilman Patrick Hewitt’s daughter Daisy goes missing, folks in Over Hampton can’t help comparing her disappearance to that of Valerie Deacon 20 years ago. Both girls vanished on their way to school, leaving as usual in the morning but never returning home. At the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, DCI Leach has most of his force looking for Daisy, so there’s little time to spare when Doctor Hogan calls to demand an investigation into the death of Adelaide Minchin, one of his patients. Still, Hogan can be a “right old—” as his receptionist Flo Appleby points out, so DS Greg Rathbone sends Sukey Reynolds to see him. Hogan looks down his nose at the young female DC. But luck is on his side. As he insists there was no reason for Miss Minchin, who was healthy as a proverbial horse, to keel over dead in her bathroom, Sukey has one of her famous hunches. Agreeing to investigate, she looks back into the row that began when Miss Muriel Minchin passed over her siblings and left her cottage, Parson’s Acre, to her cousin Adelaide. After police discover the body of a young girl—not privileged Daisy Hewitt but her impoverished classmate Sharon Swann—buried under a pile of bricks, the murder investigation takes precedence. So Sukey looks into Miss Minchin’s death on her own, with help, luckily for her, from handsome journalist Harry Matthews.
An excellent puzzle that takes perceptiveness, logic and Sukey’s intuition to solve.