The first British country house mystery in the Antonia Darcy series.
Publishers WeeklyThis auspicious first in a new mystery series from Raichev, a Bulgarian long resident in London, introduces a sympathetic sleuth, Antonia Darcy, an assistant librarian at London's Military and Naval Club, a divorced grandmother and aspiring writer. Twenty years after the Royal Wedding, Antonia sadly remembers the little girl of the novel's title, who disappeared the same day Charles and Diana were married in July 1981. Along with Sonya's parents, Antonia was on holiday at a country house on the Thames at the time the young girl went missing and was presumed drowned, her body never recovered. When Antonia discovers a detailed account of Sonya's disappearance that she wrote shortly after the tragedy, Antonia has a strong sense that something isn't right with her story and sets out to satisfy her nagging doubts-with the help of her admirer and willing assistant, widower Maj. Hugh Payne. Agatha Christie fans will find much to like in this traditional whodunit. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalOn the July day in 1981 when Prince Charles married Diana, a little girl, Sonya, vanishes from a large country estate outside London. Twenty years later, mystery author Antonia Darcy, now working as the librarian at the Military and Naval Club, sees the girl's father in the club and wonders if she could have done something differently to prevent Sonya's disappearance. This is the first in a projected cozy series set in the English countryside. Raichev lives in London. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsA librarian and a major unwrap layers of intrigue shrouding a 25-year-old murder. A visit from her adorable granddaughter Emma and the idea of writing a crime novel trigger a painful memory for Antonia Darcy, a divorced librarian at the Military and Naval Club in London. Twenty years earlier, on the day Prince Charles married the ill-fated Diana Spencer, Antonia was vacationing at Twiston, a country house outside Richmond-on-Thames, when little Sonya Dufrette drowned in the river. Sonya's hysterical mother, a Russian emigre named Lena, blamed Antonia for taking the girl for walks along the banks. Others at Twiston that July included Sonya's father Lawrence, a rising political star with a volatile nature, a Greek nanny whose name Antonia can't quite remember, and Lady Mortlock, the imperious mistress of Twiston. But something about the events, or Antonia's memory of them, rings false. If she could figure out what that was, would she be able to solve the crime and put her mind at rest? Major Payne, a widowed habitue of the library, offers to help Antonia solve the riddle. As their investigation intensifies, a courtship blossoms, until a major twist midway deepens the mystery and the danger for the sleuthing duo. Fans of cozies will love the light touch of Raichev's debut, right down to the charmingly titled chapters.
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