Three old school friends reunite with surprising consequences.
Althea Lewis, not quite 40, has been married twice. Her son Daryl lives with her, visits with his father, a nearby farmer, and despises his stepfather. Althea is beginning to doubt her love for Geoff Lewis. The younger man who ignited her sexual passion has become a wealthy, carping workaholic often away for long stretches. Her friend Cressida is a never-married artist who lives nearby. Their friend Phoebe’s career as a second-string actress has kept her from being as close as Althea and Cressida. So they’re delighted to catch up with her, though concerned that she appears prematurely old and tired. Phoebe suggests that they use the services of the mysterious fortuneteller Madame Tokoly for their garden-party fundraiser. Madame is a smashing success with everyone but Geoff, who’s disturbed by her suggestion that he’s in danger. Two near-miss accidents have him worried and willing to see her for a more complete reading. When Geoff is found shot to death in his office, it’s up to Inspector Govern and DS Beck to discover who killed this deeply unpopular man.
Few fans will be surprised by the climactic revelation, but Lorrimer’s trademark combination of romantic mystery and police procedural (Over My Dead Body, 2003, etc.) may well hold their interest along the way.