The fourth book in the acclaimed William Dougal crime series, from the bestselling author of The American Boy and The Ashes of London.
James Hanbury is a reformed character. Or he would like to be. He plans to marry into respectability: his bride Molly is both rich and of good family. But alas, on the very day of their return from honeymoon, Molly is electrocuted.
Accident or murder? The villagers of Charleston Parva believe that it's murder, and accuse her husband of having expeditiously dispatched her as soon as he had his hands on her money. Local feelings grow tense. Hanbury appeals for help to his old friend and adversary, Dougal, who is himself far from convinced of Hanbury's innocence. After all, he knows better than anyone that Hanbury is capable of murder . . .
The old school is Rosington, located in an English hamlet of the same name, where people are as xenophobic as those in any hillbilly town in the Ozarks. They suspect old school boy James Hanbury of murdering his wife of seven weeks to collect her inheritance. Hanbury is a rogue, though he does continue to kennel his dead wife's dogs. Fortunately for him, William Dougal, a freelance philosopher, undertakes to ferret out the solution to the murder, but in the meantime, two more deaths occur. Characters here wear false identities, and an old girl turns up who knows a secret about an old boy escapade 30 years earlier. Taylor's fourth novel (Caroline Minuscule, proceeds as tediously as a rainy country weekend. Rosington is overpopulated with suspects who are also tiresome, crochety bores. Only Mrs. Hanbury, poor dear, is happily out of it.