Curiosity always kills the cat.
Investigating the murder of a rather unpleasant spinster in peaceful Kent, Inspector Thanet is perplexed. But it seems that everyone has underestimated this most unlikely corpse. She was a keeper of secrets: a surprising amount of her own and a quite astonishing amount of everyone else's.
As Thanet digs deeper, all sorts of things emerge from the shadows: an alcoholic pianist, a wardrobe of disguises, forbidden love affairs - there is a lot more to this tranquil town than meets the eye. And just as Thanet convinces himself he's found the answer, he stumbles upon the true explanation; something more bizarre and tragic than he could ever have contemplated . . .