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A village succumbs to xenophobia.

There was a time when folks in Kings Duncombe didn’t have to lock their doors, deal with strangers or learn new ways. They were content to drink in the White Hart after newcomer Josie Welford bought it only because Josie kept it just as it was. All that changed when melancholic retired copper Nick Thomas moved into a trailer and made Josie wonder about the quality of the meat she was buying. Did it fall off a lorry? Was it contaminated? Nick is no stranger to Josie, who first met him 20 years ago when he put her mate Tony in the slammer. Now that he’s an inspector for the Food Standards Agency, Nick convinces Josie to switch to organic products. The change so upsets the locals that someone deposits offal on her doorstep, snatches the pub’s portable loo, takes her car and stashes a missing vet’s accounts book in her shed. It’s possible Sue the curate put it there, but just as likely it’s been planted by the posh people up at the manor house, who want to stop Josie and Nick from snooping around. Streetwise Josie is one of those rare women who can keep a secret for 20 years, has gumption, bravado and a diet plan that works. Any reader over 40 will want to put up a poster of her.

Lets hope Cutler (Staying Power, 2004, etc.) brings Josie back.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7490-8328-X
Page count: 288pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2005


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