Author: Alan Beechey
Publication Date: 6 May 2014
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Format: US Paperback
Sherlock Holmes once claimed that “the lowest and vilest alleys of London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside."
And Oliver Swithin, reluctant guest in an English village, is about to find out that it's true.
Coaxed out of his clothes and into a midnight streak by his girlfriend, Oliver’s amorous intentions are thwarted by the discovery of a dead body dangling from the village’s ancient gibbet. When it appears that the famous victim was driven to suicide by blackmail, Oliver resolves to find the blackmailer. And to do so, he needs to discover the dead man’s secret.
But in the twenty-first century, when sins that would once have been ripe for shaming are now a cause for hiring a publicist, what foul deeds of the past will people still pay to keep hidden? Is the carefully cut out page from a Shakespeare play, with its reference to a "private plot," really a clue? Why did somebody fill in the victim's grave before his funeral?
And what does any of this have to do with the memoir writers of the Vicar's reading group, the five unmarried Bennett sisters, the mysterious monk known only as "The Vampire of Synne," the case of the two Shakespeares, and the married couple who are never seen in the same room at the same time? Will there be yet another appearance by Underwood Tooth, the world's leading expert on being ignored?
Oliver discovers that the death was no suicide. But that's nothing compared with the next revelation, which turns the entire investigation upside down and puts Oliver's own life in peril.
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