This trim, lively English village procedural finds newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Kate Maddox (Design for Murder, 1981) faced with a major case in the first days of her new command in Marlingford. Belle Latimer, arrogant owner of Hambledon Grange, a vast estate inherited from her father Sir Peter Stedham, has been killed in a deliberate hit-and-run. Demanding Belle was not popular with her stable manager Ted West, his acquisitive wife Linda, or just-fired estate-boss Bruce McLeod. And Belle's heavy-gambling accountant George Prescott had reason to fear her, while husband Matthew had been secretly cut from her will after the discovery of his infidelity. In the meantime, the murder car is easily traced to motiveless, attractive newspaper-owner Richard Gower--but it takes endless questioning, a hard look at recent local history, the murder of a prime suspect, and a heavy dose of inspiration to unmask the killer. Done with crisp panache and no flab, as widow Kate copes with her macho coworkers, Richard Gower's appeal, and a plethora of possibilities. A small gem of the genre.