A sleuthing duo continues its streak of taking no vacations without a mysterious death.
Ex-pat American Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt (Blood Will Tell, 2016, etc.), find the Channel Island of Alderney filled with stunning scenery, friendly people, and the requisite corpse. The dead man is Mr. Abercrombie, a retired priest from America who’s done even more for the church as a lay volunteer. On an earlier visit to the church, Dorothy and Alan had noticed that Abercrombie was not beloved of the entire congregation. Although it’s certainly possible that he fell from the steep path, Dorothy has one of her feelings that all is not well. As they hike, watch for the elusive blonde hedgehogs, and enjoy the fine restaurants, she and Alan pick up more information on Abercrombie. He appears to have been a charming sociopath who, despite bilking his church in America out of a substantial sum and inheriting more from a besotted parishioner, couldn’t resist extracting a bit more from the local church by cooking the books of the jumble sale and engaging in other schemes as petty as they are larcenous. He also, Dorothy learns, caused the suicide of a local woman’s twin sister back in America. Despite no proof of a suspicious death and the enmity of people who loved Abercrombie, Dorothy, who can’t let the puzzle go, ends by finding the answer to a vexing mystery.
An anemic cozy filled, as usual, with charming, tourist-friendly information.