The death of a radical stonemason changes the life of a sleuth forever.
Kate Shackleton is a World War I widow who still hasn’t given up hope that her MIA husband is alive. Adopted as a baby by a high-ranking police officer and his aristocratic wife, she’s never had any interest in her birth family. When a woman pounds on her door in the middle of the night and announces that she’s Kate’s sister, Mary Jane Armstrong, Kate takes up the case of her missing husband. It seems that Mary Jane had a quarrel with her husband, Ethan, when he went off on Saturday to work on a special sundial for the local lady of the manor’s birthday. Her daughter Harriet and her son Austin sneaked off to the quarry while Mary Jane was shopping only to discover their father’s body. Once the police go to investigate, however, they find no body and conclude that Harriet made it up and Ethan has deserted his family. Kate soon learns some things about her long-lost sister that make her a possible candidate if Ethan was murdered. Mary Jane, who had worked for the wealthy mine owner who’d commissioned the sundial, admits that the large sum of money in her secret bank account came from Col. Ledger, who had taken “artistic” pictures of her and his stunning wife when she worked for them. Ethan’s radical connections bring Kate’s lover, Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Marcus Charles, in on the case. But the discovery of Ethan’s body under a pile of rocks in the quarry puts Marcus at odds with Kate since he suspects Mary Jane.
Brody’s third in the series (A Medal for Murder, 2013, etc.) is a perfect fit for lovers of classic British mysteries who’d like to watch a clever, introspective, delightful heroine solve a tricky puzzle.