An unanticipated pleasure--not the usual femme foolishness lurking behind titles and titles. This story, part of the author's real family legacy, is an intelligently written, tenaciously detailed drama of 150 years ago which slowly uncovers the murder committed by a man of God, Dr. Heatherton. Heatherton, by temperament as stiff as his collar, marries a ""douce"" French girl Marie with whom he falls in love on sight. Marie submits with repugnance to her carnal obligations but after the birth of her second little girl, falls in love with a local French teacher. She dies after the delivery of his child but by that time Heatherton has discovered the liaison and disposed of her lover behind the wall of their house. With mutual accord and convenience, Heatherton marries the nearby widowed Margaret, a more forceful and more capable woman until the children--her only son John and Marie's illegitimate Jenny--discover the boot with the remains of a foot in it and Margaret continues the investigation, to its unavoidable conclusion. . . . This is the kind of story the late, irreplaceable Joseph Shearing would have told--a covert period melodrama with all the proprieties of the times and a lingering attar of evil.