An American antiques dealer visiting England to see her daughter, an Oxford student, becomes involved in a murder investigation.
While her daughter, Christine, is interning at Finchley Hall, Kate Hamilton has snagged a small room in a stable block used by the interns while her own mother runs her shop back in Ohio and her son does research in Italy. Kate plans to spend time with DI Thomas Mallory, whom she met over a murder on an earlier trip (A Dream of Death, 2019). On a tour of the property with stunning guide Alex Devereux, she and the other tour members learn fascinating facts about the estate and the famous Hoard, a sack of valuables buried in 1549 and later recovered. When a young boy accompanying his mother on the tour finds a body in Blackwater Lake, Alex identifies it as that of Tabitha King, an intern who was designing an exhibit of the Hoard. Mallory’s put in charge of the case, and Kate can’t help but be interested, especially after she agrees to take over Tabitha’s job helping Lady Barbara, a nearly blind widow whose son has long been gone to South America, leaving her in the care of the butler and a woman who cooks and cleans. Christine, who has a bad habit of falling for the wrong man, has become involved with fellow intern Tristan Sorel, who’s easily enticed by Alex. Mallory’s mother doesn’t hide her dislike of Kate, who she fears will encourage her son to move to the United States. As Kate becomes more closely involved with Lady Barbara and the interns’ problems, she tries to leave the detecting to Mallory. But she’s a divvy, an antiques whisperer, whose extraordinary powers to distinguish real antiques from fake will be instrumental in catching a killer.
Historic settings, antiquing tips, and a surprising motive in an angst-filled mystery/romance.