A modern-day fantasia on Cinderella themes with a 30-something heroine and criminal undertones.
After years of nursing her ailing mother, Helen Westley is stunned to discover on her mother’s death that the family home has been left to her unlovable half-brother Frank. Suddenly homeless with next to no income, Helen takes a nursing job in the village of Leyning (Death in Two Parks, 2000). There, she meets frail, aged, bedridden Beatrice Tresikker and Hugh Braddock, her physician. Like Helen, Beatrice is on her own; her poet husband has long since vanished, and her estranged twin sister Benedicta has always lived in the US. For better or worse, however, the household is soon enlarged. Helen is surprised and pleased when her niece Jan, Frank’s daughter, shows up and pitches in to help with the old lady’s care. There’s help too from Beatrice’s young lawyer Frances. But their rewarding new routines are upset by the arrival of handsome Ben Norton, the late Benedicta’s young grandson, who brings some dramatic changes to the household.
Unpretentious, well-paced storytelling, as much romance as whodunit, but quietly entertaining all the way.