Young Daphne du Maurier must defend a friend who has been accused of murder in the next installment in the beguiling mystery series that readers of Rebecca will love.
It's the summer of 1927 and aspiring novelist Daphne du Maurier is headed to Cornwall for the wedding of her dear friend Ellen Hamilton to American millionaire Teddy Grimshaw. Having met during the chaos of the Great War, the lovers were cruelly separated for nearly a decade by circumstance and family interference. Now the wedding ceremony—held at Thornleigh Manor, a grand estate that has been in the Hamilton family for five centuries—marks a renewed hope for the future.
But joy quickly turns to devastation when Teddy is found murdered right after the wedding. Wealth, jealousy, and buried secrets provide no shortage of suspects—or danger to everyone at Thornleigh, including Daphne herself. When Ellen is suspected of being the murderess, the independent-minded Daphne, along with the dashing Major Browning, is inspired to uncover the truth, and to write her next novel.
Young Daphne du Maurier is determined to solve a murder or two and write her first novel in Challis's diverting third mystery featuring the future author of Rebecca (after 2010's Peril at Somner House). When Teddy Grimshaw, a prosperous businessman, is fatally poisoned on his wedding day at his Cornish manor house, suspicion falls on his bride and Daphne's dear friend, Ellen, who stands to inherit a considerable sum, to the dismay of Teddy's vitriolic first wife. Daphne puts her imagination into overdrive, and with her forbearing fianc , Maj. Frederick Browning of Scotland Yard, they make a surprisingly able duo, combining her genteel guile with his old-fashioned legwork. Challis well renders the bucolic and socially stratified England of the 1920s, but readers should be prepared for stock characters (the grim inspector and his friendly sergeant, the motherly cook, the gossipy servants) and over-the-top dialogue ("My pretty! I 'ave ye now!").