Fleeing an Edinburgh robbery/murder lands a resourceful Scottish lass in a dangerous situation that’s not without its charms.
Joan Lightfoot, who’s been living with and working for Tasker O’Neill, an older man of some wealth but little compassion, dares not stick around when she’s used as a pawn in a robbery. She’s been in trouble with the law before. The knowledge she gained as a poacher’s daughter makes her uniquely capable of escaping. Hot-wiring a motorbike, she sets off for Tasker’s seldom-used country cottage, where she takes in a mistreated spaniel. In order to pay for dog food, she breaks into houses and steals. A chance meeting with a handsome gamekeeper turns out to be mutually beneficial. University graduate Ken Whetstone quit his research to work as an assistant gamekeeper for an MP, a job that left him with no practical training, little money and no marriage when his promiscuous wife vanished a year ago. Joan pitches in to help Ken. When the body of his wife turns up, Joan and Ken must discover the real murderer before he is arrested.
Veteran Hammond (Cold in the Heads, 2006, etc.) explains all you may ever want to know about bird-hunting. An attractive setting and a flawed but likable heroine make up for the transparent mystery.