Murder in yet another quaint English village.
Although the Great War is over, good times have not yet returned to Walmsley Parva. Edwina Davenport’s family once employed a staff of half a dozen; now she has to make do with Simpkins, an indifferent gardener she can sometimes cajole into digging up dahlias for wintering-over. Sharing the Beeches, her family estate, with American adventuress Beryl Helliwell has somewhat improved her financial situation, and the private enquiry agency that the two women operate does get an occasional case (Murder Flies the Coop, 2018, etc.). But their latest client, young Jack Prentice, seems unlikely to be able to pay much out of the pittance he earns hawking newspapers on the street. Still, the ladies want very much to help the lad clear his father, Frank, whom Constable Doris Gibbs has arrested for the murder of Simpkins’ brother-in-law, Hector Lomax. Pretty much everyone in the village has a grudge against Lomax, including Simpkins himself, who further complicates the ladies’ investigation because he’s been left a controlling interest in Colonel Kimberly’s Condiment Company by the recently deceased Colonel Kimberly himself. How a humble gardener came to inherit one of England’s premier purveyors of chutneys, along with the truth about Lomax’s unlamented demise, is revealed only at the tail end of this heaping helping of period English country charm.
Pass the sriracha, please.