No good deed goes unpunished in Ellie Quicke’s seventh adventure.
Ellie Quicke, that well-off widow of 50, is once again juggling the problems and demands of her family and friends (Murder by Committee, 2005, etc.). On an errand for Mrs. Dawes, the church flower-arranger, Ellie steps on a decomposing corpse in an overgrown garden. When Mrs. Dawes fails to show up at a wedding, Ellie, her newlywed cousins and her grandson Frank go to her home to find her beaten and barely alive. The inexperienced police team invite Mrs. Dawes’s hot-tempered grandson in for questioning and lean on him until he attacks an officer. Knowing that Neil’s rough exterior hides real love for his gran, Ellie resolves to find another suspect for the murder and the two assaults. Meanwhile, she’s also dealing with her selfish, divorced daughter Diana, who’s just gone into the estate-agency business with a shady character and counts on Ellie to care for young Frank. No wonder Ellie feels overwhelmed by a long list of problems, including a burgeoning romance with the depressed vicar, as she works to discover the identity of the body she stumbled on. Despite moments of despair, she manages to find the killer and continue to smooth life’s path for those she loves.
Although we know the killer’s identity from the beginning, Ellie’s efforts to unmask him are nicely woven into the busy plot.