Overview

February, 1927. The remains of an unidentified middle-aged man are found beneath the snow in the grounds of Maxtead Court, home of the wealthy Scroope family. Meanwhile, Margaret Rees-Talbot is preparing for her wedding to the Rev Symon Scroope - to the disapproval of some residents of the small market town of Folbury, who think it's too soon after the death of Margaret's father Osbert, found drowned in his bath a few months previously. An ...
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A Dangerous Deceit

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Overview

February, 1927. The remains of an unidentified middle-aged man are found beneath the snow in the grounds of Maxtead Court, home of the wealthy Scroope family. Meanwhile, Margaret Rees-Talbot is preparing for her wedding to the Rev Symon Scroope - to the disapproval of some residents of the small market town of Folbury, who think it's too soon after the death of Margaret's father Osbert, found drowned in his bath a few months previously. An accident - or was there more to it than that?

Before he died, Osbert had been writing an account of his experiences as a soldier during the Second Boer War. But what really happened in South Africa back in 1902? Could there be a connection to his death?

Then a second death occurs. And it becomes increasingly clear to the investigating DI Herbert Reardon that at least one Folbury resident has a shocking secret to hide.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/28/2013
This stately standalone from Eccles (After Clare) hinges on a long-buried secret from the Second Boer War. In rural 1927 Worcestershire, that conflict is nearly forgotten, although it’s recalled in the late Osbert Rees-Talbot’s unfinished memoirs. His grown daughter, Margaret, though stricken by the loss of her father, is planning her wedding to the Rev. Symon Scroope, who grew up on the nearby estate of Maxstead Court. The discovery of an unidentified man’s body in the snow on Maxstead land results in the brief, unwanted attention of the police. The subsequent death of factory owner Arthur Anton, who was Rees-Talbot’s batman during the Boer War, in the nearby village of Folbury brings Det. Insp. Herbert Reardon to town. The thoughtful, scarred Reardon eventually arrives at some answers, but flaccid characters and a slow-moving plot diminish the impact of these revelations. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
“Stately standalone from Eccles”
Publishers Weekly
Booklist
“Good period ambiance, a rich cast of characters, and numerous plot twists make this mixture of period drama and police procedural a gripping and satisfying read.”
Library Journal
12/01/2013
Improbably, dead bodies are piling up around the normally tranquil British village of Folbury in 1927. Perhaps Osbert Rees-Talbot's drowning death in his bathtub was accidental. But the corpse left in a shallow grave on the estate of the Scroope family was not, nor was the demise of Cpl. Arthur Aston, who was found dead in his factory. DI Herbert Reardon, a detective with a maverick streak, and his eager young sergeant, Joe Gilmour, pursue the thin leads. When they ascertain that the previously unidentified body is of a South African man, all signs point toward a Boer War connection. Figuring out the specific motive takes longer since most folks are keen on saving face. But sins of the fathers—or, perhaps, the mothers—have a way of catching up with their descendents eventually. VERDICT Veteran author Eccles's (After Clare) latest stand-alone historical may use a familiar theme, but she cleverly intersperses her traditionally structured procedural plot with sharp observations about human behavior. Perfect for the Downton Abbey bunch.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780104577
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 493,851
  • File size: 517 KB

Meet the Author

Marjorie Eccles was born in Yorkshire and has since spent some time on the Northumbrian coast. Marjorie has written mainly crime novels, but also some romantic fiction. She is the author of the ‘Gill Mayo’ mystery series.
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