When Meredith Mitchell spots a hitchhiker on a lonely road outside Bamford one evening, she feels obliged to give her a lift. But Mitchell drops off her passenger feeling distinctly uneasy. Though pleasant enough, and despite her apparent self-confidence, the girl seems highly secretive. And what business can she have at Tudor Lodge, the beautiful old home of Brussels-based lawyer Andrew Penhallow?
Penhallow is constantly coming and going from the European mainland, but that night he is at home, and--with his son away and his wife in bed with a migraine--alone. The next morning he is found murdered in the garden.
His death results in some spectacular revelations about a double life involving his mysterious visitor, Kate Drago. Might their meeting have escalated into a murderous fury? But Kate is not the only suspect. What about Harry Sawyer, owner of a nearby garage, who had a long-running dispute with Penhallow over land? Does the ne'er-do-well Joss family have anything to do with the killing? And what role does Kate's solicitor and friend, Freddie Green, play, arriving hotfoot from London to stake his client's claim to Penhallow's considerable estate?
Superintendent Alan Markby investigates the ghosts of Penhallow's past as well as the secrets of the present. But when his colleague, Sergeant Prescott, inconveniently falls in love with the main suspect, Markby can rely only on his girlfriend, Meredith, to help him solve the case.
This highly enjoyable crime novel is the eleventh to feature the appealing Cotswold sleuths, and displays all Ann Granger's skill with place, plot, and character.