A suspicious death interrupts a holiday in Lincolnshire.
Life in Frog End suits the Colonel down to the ground. He enjoys his pint at the Dog and Duck as well as an evening whisky on his patio with his next-door neighbor Naomi Grimshaw. He doesn’t mind putting in an odd hour at the church fete or reading the lesson at matins. And for company, there’s always his raggedy-eared tomcat, Thursday. Still, a man likes a change every so often. So when Geoffrey Cheetham, an old friend from his Singapore days, invites him to stay at his bed-and-breakfast in Lincolnshire, the Colonel packs Thursday off to Cat Heaven outside Dorchester and heads out to Bomber County. As advertised, the countryside is dotted with the remains of World War II RAF installations, where bomber squadrons took off for missions over Paris and Berlin. There’s even a Buckby RAF reunion this weekend, and the seven members of one Lancaster bomber crew are all staying with the Cheethams. The Colonel finds most of the old soldiers good company. Unlike American crews, which discourage fraternization between ranks, British bomber crews are highly democratic. Pretty soon, Bill Steed, the pilot, gathers his boys for a few rounds at the Fox and Grapes. Their pints make most of the crew mellow and sentimental. But mid-upper gunner Don Wilson soon proves a problem. The Aussie is a loud drunk. When he turns up dead in the Cheethams’ lake, he’s more than a nuisance for his old pal Geoffrey and, by extension, for the Colonel.
Even out of his element, the Colonel (Dry Bones, 2012, etc.) shows wit and tenacity in tackling a problem with no easy solution.