'[A] winning, well-plotted read... the mystery's denouement at the dance makes a glamorous and dramatic conclusion' Daily Mail
'A breezily entertaining read from the author of Lady In Waiting, with clever plotting and a beautiful setting' Sunday Express
The thrilling new novel from the acclaimed author of Murder on Mustique and Lady in Waiting.
January 1950. Lady Anne Coke, daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester, is in Scunthorpe on a business trip when she is called home after a sudden death in the family. She returns to Holkham Hall to discover a mystery: her beloved grandfather has been found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs with a valuable piece of jewellery in his pocket. No one can find a cause of death, and some even suspect foul play from the ghost who supposedly haunts the house. But Anne's suspicions are aroused; she grew close to her grandfather when they lived together during the war and she is determined to discover the truth.
During World War II, Holkham Hall was an army base with large sections out of bounds, and 11-year-old Anne was in the care of a new governess, whom she hated and believed to be deceitful. Although she had been told to stay away from certain parts of the house, Anne used the secret passageways and the cellars to move around unnoticed. And something she saw then could unlock the mystery of her grandfather's death now ...
Full of rich historical detail, this is a gripping novel of wartime secrets, intrigue and deceit.
'Stirring story of wartime secrets and intrigue' Best
'Clever plotting' Daily Mirror
'Delightfully intriguing' Peterborough Telegraph
'Thrilling... The atmosphere is perfect, the anxieties and fears of the young Anne are particularly realistic, and the mystery is the perfect riddle. This is a superb story, told with verve and love' Books-monthly.co.uk
In 1950, 17-year-old Anne Coke, the autobiographical heroine of this exceptional English country house mystery from Glenconner (Murder on Mustique), is called back to real-life Holkham Hall in Norfolk after her grandfather, the fourth earl of Leicester, dies from a tumble down the stairs. A copy of the Coke necklace is found in his pocket. Where is the real diamond necklace? And was the earl's fall really an accident? Despite Anne's growing suspicions, her father refuses to "have a lot of policemen crawling around the house asking questions... what if it got into the press?" Underpinning Anne's investigations are harrowing flashbacks to 1943 when she was left in the care of a sadistic governess while her parents were living in Egypt, where her father served with the Scots Guards. Between the two timelines, the facts behind the earl's death emerge. Glenconner, who served as lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret, draws on her own memories of life at Holkham for insights into an era and the foibles of the British upper class. With its vivid, authentic details, this one stands out from the pack of similar such mysteries. Agent: Gordon Wise, Curtis Brown Agency (U.K.).