The discovery of a body in a quarry creates a baffling case for Detective Superintendent Wycliffe
Simon Meagor was a lonely middle-aged man. With a broken marriage behind him, his life was centred on his antiquarian bookshop. In his past was the memory of a murder trial where his evidence had resulted in the conviction of a man who had subsequently killed himself. Now, to his horror, the daughter of that man was applying for a job in his shop and, almost mesmerised by her, Simon found he was agreeing to her employment. Cleverly, over a period of time, Morwenna manipulated herself into his work, his life, and finally into his flat above the shop. And then she disappeared.
When her body was discovered in a flooded quarry, at first suicide was considered. Morwenna was suffering from a fatal disease. But everything pointed to murder and, inevitably, suspicion fell on Simon Meagor.
Wycliffe became increasingly disturbed by a case which grew more and more complicated as he explored many dark and murky secrets from the past.
The 21st case for Detective Superintendent Charles Wycliffe of Cornwall involves the shy and retiring Simon Meagor, an antiquarian bookseller in Falmouth from whom Wycliffe buys books. Some years ago, Simon's testimony convicted George Barker of murder. Now Barker is dead, and his redheaded daughter, Morwenna, has blackmailed Simon into giving her a job as his shop assistant. When Morwenna is found dead in her car in a flooded quarry, Simon is an obvious suspect, but there were plenty of other complications in the young woman's life that could have led to violence. Wycliffe's team of series regulars, including DS Lucy Lane, pathologist Dr. Franks and DI Doug Kersey, helps him in the investigation, which sees many tangled plot threads tied up in a satisfactory ending. If Burley's characterizations are a bit rote and his prose a mite stiff, he never fails to provide a puzzle that will delight procedural purists--as does this one, stitched cleverly into its atmospheric Cornish backdrop.