Mrs. Starr, widowed and well-off, lives alone in one of those little British villages and returns home one day to find evidence that her house has been invaded and to disregard the admonitions of her only neighbor, an elderly Major Palmer. After her discovery of Chris, a young and obviously derelict girl in the attic, she decides to keep her on without realizing that Chris is not alone -- in fact has a young and not too bright killer with her. . . . It's really hard to believe that Mrs. Starr, however lonely, however well-meaning, would take in and be taken in by this scruffy chit and then there's the fact that her world (and Miss Godden's) is so removed from many realities. But there are those readers, housebound in a different fashion, who will enjoy it for what it is -- another (cf. her last -- In the Sun) story of gentlewomanly victimization.