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A mildly complex case of double murder for Inspector Roper and his team of experts (Remains to be Seen, etc., etc.) as they're called to the village of Little Crow to investigate the death of Stella Pumfrey--found dead at the foot of her stairs in what's first judged an accident. Stella's husband Bill is an ex-military ne'er-do-well who lived on her money and played a field lately dominated by voluptuous Samantha Hubert, an assistant to dilettantish antique-dealer Lance Wainer. A string of house robberies--several of them at the Pumfreys--throws suspicion on seedy Brian Seymour, presently working a used-car scam in the district but with a long record of house-breaking offenses behind him. Of more interest to Roper, though, is Stella's neurotic sister Sarah, married to Dr. Bernard Cresswell, bitter and envious in the wake of a legacy dispute and convinced that her husband and sister were lovers. Altogether, there are plenty of illicit relationships in this British Peyton Place, but the case takes a more urgent turn when Brian Seymour is found asphyxiated in his car-an apparent suicide that provides Roper with a subtle clue that eventually solves all the mysteries. Painstakingly detailed, lovingly crafted, steadily interesting--another fine police-procedural from an ever-reliable writer.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's