A murder most foul
When the landlord of a Yorkshire tavern is killed in plain sight, Freda Simonson, the only witness to the crime, becomes plagued with guilt, believing the wrong man has been convicted. Following her death, it seems that the truth will never be uncovered in the peaceful village of Langcliffe . . .
A village of secrets
But it just so happens that Freda's nephew is courting the renowned amateur sleuth Kate Shackleton, who decides to holiday in Langcliffe with her indomitable teenage niece, Harriet. When Harriet strikes up a friendship with a local girl whose young brother is missing, the search leads Kate to uncover another suspicious death, not to mention an illicit affair.
The case of a lifetime
As the present mysteries merge with the past's mistakes, Kate is thrust into the secrets that Freda left behind and realises that this courageous woman has entrusted her with solving a murder from beyond the grave. It soon becomes clear to her that nothing in Langcliffe is quite as it appears, and with a murderer on the loose and an ever-growing roster of suspects, this isn't the holiday Kate was expecting . . .
Set in 1926, Brody's leisurely paced seventh Kate Shackleton mystery (after 2016's Death of an Avid Reader) takes the private investigator and her teenage niece, Harriet, to the Yorkshire village of Langcliffe, where they stay at a cottage belonging to Dr. Lucian Simonson, who's sweet on Kate. No less than three problems require Kate's attention. First, Lucian's aunt, Freda, witnessed the murder of the local alehouse keeper in 1916 and maintained until her recent death that the wrong man was executed for the crime. Kate feels compelled to investigate this old case, despite the disapproval of some townspeople. Meanwhile, Harriet befriends a girl whose brother has gone missing. Finally, the wife of Langcliffe's biggest landowner wants help retrieving some indiscreet letters. No wonder Lucian feels Kate has no time for him. The characters are pleasant enough, but there's not much mystery, except for an out-of-left-field ending that takes everyone by surprise.