A librarian and a major unwrap layers of intrigue shrouding a 25-year-old murder.
A visit from her adorable granddaughter Emma and the idea of writing a crime novel trigger a painful memory for Antonia Darcy, a divorced librarian at the Military and Naval Club in London. Twenty years earlier, on the day Prince Charles married the ill-fated Diana Spencer, Antonia was vacationing at Twiston, a country house outside Richmond-on-Thames, when little Sonya Dufrette drowned in the river. Sonya’s hysterical mother, a Russian émigré named Lena, blamed Antonia for taking the girl for walks along the banks. Others at Twiston that July included Sonya’s father Lawrence, a rising political star with a volatile nature, a Greek nanny whose name Antonia can’t quite remember, and Lady Mortlock, the imperious mistress of Twiston. But something about the events, or Antonia’s memory of them, rings false. If she could figure out what that was, would she be able to solve the crime and put her mind at rest? Major Payne, a widowed habitué of the library, offers to help Antonia solve the riddle. As their investigation intensifies, a courtship blossoms, until a major twist midway deepens the mystery and the danger for the sleuthing duo.
Fans of cozies will love the light touch of Raichev’s debut, right down to the charmingly titled chapters.