After Clare

Overview

1922. Lady Emily Fitzallan has returned to the country house where she spent her childhood for a family wedding. Leysmorton Manor brings back many memories, especially of her elder sister Clare, who vanished one day after going for a walk, never to return. But the disturbing discovery of a soldier’s skeleton at the base of an ancient Yew tree brings the past shockingly into the present. Could the man’s untimely death have its roots in Clare’s disappearance, which occurred almost...
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After Clare

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Overview

1922. Lady Emily Fitzallan has returned to the country house where she spent her childhood for a family wedding. Leysmorton Manor brings back many memories, especially of her elder sister Clare, who vanished one day after going for a walk, never to return. But the disturbing discovery of a soldier’s skeleton at the base of an ancient Yew tree brings the past shockingly into the present. Could the man’s untimely death have its roots in Clare’s disappearance, which occurred almost half a century ago . . .?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The absence of vivid characters mars this stand-alone set in 1922 England from Eccles (The Shape of Sand). A wedding brings Emily, Lady Fitzallen, reluctantly home to Leysmorton, the family manor house from which her older sister, Clare, disappeared decades earlier. On the eve of the wedding, the discovery of skeletal remains beneath debris from an old tree house presents a new mystery. The corpse, whose skull is staved in, is identified as Peter Sholto, a private who was believed to have died in combat during the Great War. In fact, Sholto deserted, but his father, eager to avoid humiliation over his cowardice, put out the story that he had gone down fighting. Might Sholto’s murder be linked to Clare’s disappearance? Readers should be prepared for some generic prose (the investigating inspector determines to solve the case, “not just to chalk up one more case solved, but to bring to justice the person who had deprived this young fellow of the right to the life before him”). (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
A garden renovation project turns into a murder investigation. The Vavasour and Markham families are old friends as well as neighbors. For generations, their children have walked back and forth over the path connecting the Vavasours' Leysmorton House to the Markhams' Steadings. At one time, it even looked as if Emily Vavasour and Hugh Markham would make a match of it. But Emily was wooed away to India by dashing Paddy Fitzallan, son of an impoverished baronet. Since Paddy's death, Lady Emily has lived in Madeira. She comes back to Leysmorton, occupied now by her cousin Dirk Stronglove and his spinster half sister, Marta Heeren, only to attend the wedding of Hugh's granddaughter Dee to the rich but boring Hamish Erskine. The old place enchants her, and before going home to Spain, she decides on two projects: restoring the library in consultation with Poppy Drummond, a distant cousin of Dee's who ekes out a living as a decorator, and reestablishing the rose garden with the help of Rosie Markham, Dee's gangly younger sister. Digging in the dirt dredges up memories of Emily's older sister, Clare, an aspiring artist who disappeared without a trace after Emily and Paddy's wedding. She and Clare used to play by the huge yew tree that still stands at a corner of the garden. But turning over Leysmorton's rich soil also uncovers a more modern mystery: the bones of Peter Sholto, who deserted days after the end of the Great War but never came home. Inspector Novak of Scotland Yard has his sights trained on Peter's death, while Lady Emily longs for resolution of the older puzzle, her sister's disappearance. Eccles (The Cuckoo's Child, 2011, etc.) swivels deftly between past and present, mystery and romance in her latest historical hybrid.
From the Publisher

A diabolically twisted plot, authentic historical touches, intriguing characters, and a conclusion even seasoned readers are unlikely to anticipate make this book a fine addition to all mystery collections.
Booklist on After Clare
Booklist
"A diabolically twisted plot, authentic historical touches, intriguing characters, and a conclusion even seasoned readers are unlikely to anticipate make this book a fine addition to all mystery collections"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780727881977
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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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