‘A delicious new voice in crime writing... Excellent on the English aristocracy and written in a fine wry style.’ Daily Mail
‘Absorbing, charming and funny.’ Antonia Fraser
Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey in this delightful new series introducing pet portraitist and amateur super-sleuth, Susie Mahl
In the village of Spire, murder is afoot. Rich landowner Alexander, 9th Earl of Greengrass is caught with his trousers down in the village graveyard before meeting a gruesome end.
Luckily Susie Mahl happens to be on hand. With her artist’s eye for detail and her curious nature she is soon on the scent of the murderer…
One summer weekend, while visiting the Earl and Countess of Greengrass at Beckenstale Manor in Dorset, pet portrait artist Susie Mahl, the narrator of British author Carter's auspicious debut, meets Ben and Antonia Codrington, who commission her to paint a picture of Situp, the couple's deerhound. The day of her planned departure, on a walk with Situp in the village of Spire, Susie and the Codringtons come across a shocking scene the 75-year-old earl lying dead just outside the local church, an apparent heart attack victim. Lady Greengrass asks Susie to stay, and one more night turns into several. When the police determine that the earl was murdered, Susie takes it on herself to identify the culprit. Susie pays close attention to the relationships among the Beckenstale residents, in particular the countess's with her son and the wife she thinks beneath him. Surprising bequests from the earl's will and arcane inheritance rules create complications. Animal lovers, Anglophiles, and fans of humorous, socially observant whodunits will look forward to the next Susie Mahl mystery.