Her determination to solve a murder on a nearby construction site threatens the life and well-being of a Folly-on-Weir bar owner.
Coincidence brings Alex Duggins to the site of a burning building while she explores the new development close to her Cotswolds home. That coincidence turns out to be pure luck for developer Robert Hill, who narrowly escapes being burned in the fire, at least partly because Alex has the presence of mind to call fire and ambulance crews to the scene. Rescuers discover that project architect Lance Pullinger wasn’t so lucky when they recover his body from the wreckage, and police ask whether the fire was accidental or meant to kill either Bob or the seemingly easygoing Lance. For his part, Bob, who’s grateful to Alex, spends increasing amounts of time at her pub, The Black Dog. He learns more about her and even introduces her to his wife and son. Though nosy neighbors think Alex’s longtime boyfriend, Tony Harrison, should be concerned about Bob’s dogged presence in her life, Tony knows that his relationship with Alex is more dependable than small-town gossip. Bob’s curiosity is echoed by Alex’s own informal investigation into the fire and its fallout. After all, she loves a mystery and welcomes an excuse to poke about a bit, even if it gets her into trouble. Her mother, Lily, is more worried about Alex’s interest in the case than in past mysteries (Lies That Bind, 2017, etc.), perhaps because Lily’s hiding her own secret from Alex. Before Lily can do much digging, another body is found, and its lack of any obvious connection to the fire suggests that there may be something larger at work. Does Lily’s secret hold the key?
Cameron skillfully ties her mystery to her ongoing character arcs, providing a more compelling back story for the series.