It’s England, so of course it’s raining, with no end in sight. American-born Dorothy Martin urges her second husband, retired Sherebury Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt, to join her in visiting sunny Cornwall, which just happens to be the site of Alan’s first unsolved murder, a case that’s niggled at the back of his mind for over 30 years. Who was that unidentified woman found dead in a smuggler’s cave, and who killed her? Surprisingly, two guests at their hotel are consumed by the same questions. Cancer-stricken Eleanor Crosby and her adopted daughter, beautiful model Alexis, crave information about Eleanor’s former best chum and Lexa’s mum, Betty Adams, the woman found in that cave. Then, Lexa winds up dead in the same place as her mother, and sexy, rebellious teenager Pamela Boleigh, a local nabob’s granddaughter last seen along with Lexa arguing with an old gent at a raucous nightspot, goes missing. Dorothy and Alan swing into action, scouring the caves, reconnoitering the rave, and chatting up the mayor in his pricey antique store, the disconsolate elder Boleigh, and the local coppers, all of whom venerate Alan and his former high police rank. Several cream teas later, Alan and Dorothy—having solved murders old and new and pieced together a tale of infidelity, illegitimacy, robbery, and more—are headed back to Sherebury, now with raincoats at the ready.
Dams (Killing Cassidy, 2000, etc.) treats the vagaries of aging with a warm, companionable touch, and she’s no slouch at plotting either.