An antiques restorer gets in a dither when a herd of porcelain horses gallops across her horizon.
Lina Townend (Guilt Trip, 2012, etc.) has enough on her youthful mind. Her current beau, Morris, is in France and can’t be bothered to phone her. Her pixilated Pa keeps running out of champagne and sending her round to Marks and Spencer for more. She has a growing pile of battered china to repair for numerous well-paying clients. And her partner and self-adopted grandfather, Griff Tripp, is in the hospital for an urgent heart bypass. So when a middle-aged matron drops by with a white Beswick pony she’s ready to part with for a mere £600, Lina doesn’t have time to figure out what’s off about her; she just sends her packing. Soon, other dealers report offers of similar white horses, more valuable than other colors of Beswick because they’re relatively rare. Lina reports her uneasy feelings to DCI Freya Webb, who can’t do much about them because she’s laid up in the end stages of a difficult pregnancy. So Freya turfs her over to DC Carwyn Morgan, the local police art expert. Morgan is gorgeous enough to make a worthy replacement for the unreliable Morris. But he’s interested in more than just ponies; he’s looking to make a case against Titus Oates, whose partner in forgery is none other than Lina’s Pa. Getting the goods on the pony pushers without grassing up Titus forces Lina to walk a fine line. And life gets still more complicated when Griff is released from the hospital to convalesce under her watchful eye.
Gentle humor and deft plotting make Lina’s sixth outing a treat.