A trip to Buckingham Palace turns into a nightmare murder investigation.
American expat Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt, have been invited to Buckingham to see their friend Jonathan Quinn, former Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, receive the George Cross. Jonathan was badly injured when he saved a child trapped in a burning building. The child survived, but not Jonathan’s promising career. On their way out, they run into Jemima, an honorary cousin of Jonathan who works in the palace. As they take a turn in St James’ Park, they discover a body under a bush in an area that’s supposed to be closed to the public. When Chief Superintendent Carstairs takes over the case, the ever-curious Dorothy thinks her involvement has ended until a call from Jonathan changes her mind. Jonathan had recognized the body as that of Jemima’s daughter, Melissa, who had lived with his honorary Aunt Letty, a woman to whom he owed much that was good in his life. Afraid that identifying the body would cost Jemima her job at the palace, he said nothing. Forced by Dorothy and Alan to reveal all, however, he makes himself the chief suspect. Although she’s duly warned off by the police, Dorothy’s not about to give up looking for the killer, especially after Jonathan, worn down with pain and worry, takes an overdose. Was the killer a random stranger, or does the answer to the puzzle lie in the past?
The latest for Dorothy (The Evil That Men Do, 2012, etc.) is one of Dams’ better mysteries, packed with the details sure to delight anglophiles.