The beautiful city of Bath succumbs to some ugly, and fatal, smudges.
The first to die is flamboyant interior designer Philippe, who’s found with an antique lavatory handle jammed down his gullet and traces of belladonna in his system. With his partner and competitors vying to complete the makeover of St. Margaret’s Court, Honey Driver (Something in the Blood, 2007, etc.) fears that the refurbishing of her Green River Hotel will languish. She’s partially right, but a pair of German tourists pitch in to help, he with painting and she with encouraging words as she knits placidly in reception, freeing Honey to nose around in her other position as Bath’s Crime Liaison Officer. She begins by chatting up Philippe’s associates, but before she comes to any conclusions, one man becomes the victim of a gas leak on his boat, a woman is trampled to death by her beloved horse and the German tourists disappear. Instead, Honey finds her time fully occupied by Cybil Camper-Young. The former MI5 worker, now a rather batty resident of Lobelia Cottage, directly across from St. Margaret’s Court, complains about foreigners in Bath. When Honey tries to calm her down, all the ugly happenings in her fair city fall into place.
Preposterous and then some, with a new coincidence every other page and a tepid romance that drags on and on.