Another gem in the author's series of novels featuring Detective Inspector Ben Jurnet (A Very Particular Murder, 1989, etc.) of the Angleby CID. This time out, Ben has taken his beloved, elusive Miriam, just returned from Israel, to a little-visited beach outside the tiny village of Lanthrop. It's she who discovers the corpse, partially buried in sand, later to be identified as Annie Chance--mother of dimwitted, 18-year-old Tim; housekeeper to young widow Hannah Milburn; and lover to married woodsman Oz Bailey. Annie had been thought by the whole village to have taken off with a traveling salesman weeks before. Possible connections to the nearby archaeological site run by Paul Abbott, who's in love with Hannah Milburn, and to a local goat-farm whose owner has recently died of AIDS lead nowhere. The case is in limbo when the sudden appearance of the long-sought traveling salesman recasts the timetable of Annie's last day--and sends Jurnet racing back to Lanthrop, just in time to prevent another killing. At times a bit verbose, but Haymon's wonderful mix of literacy, humor, psychological depth, and storytelling magic put her in the very top echelon of writers in the genre. A dazzling performance.