Psychic investigator Fran Castle gets a request from the police to help when a body discovered on a rocky island in the middle of Nethergate Bay thoroughly stumps them.
Libby Sarjeant, Fran’s sleuthing partner, is on the case too, refusing to abandon Fran to solve the case alone. Together they delve into the shameful world of the exploitation of illegal immigrants.
Libby’s partner, Ben, is concerned that her occasionally over-enthusiastic investigations might get her into trouble. His worries seem justified as Libby and Fran get on the trail of a war-time fascist spy. No one wants to be ‘a nuisance to a killer’, and Libby and Fran may have just acquired that dangerous position…
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Which was what she was doing one day in July at the beginning of the school holidays. It was George's turn to go round the island, and, due to the unusually calm sea, the Dolphin was packed with families, nice middle-class families who preferred a traditional British seaside holiday to the dubious delights of sun, sea and Malibu, with unbearable temperatures and incomprehensible currency. Those families who, had they chosen to fly to the sun, would not have dreamt of looking for English bars, breakfasts and nice cups of tea, but who were secretly pleased that these essential delights did not have to be foregone.
It was Jane who spotted it. Something had been washed up, or dumped, on the far side of the island, but what made her look harder was its position, well above even the waterline from the high equinoctial tides.
'George, what's that?'
George squinted through his cigarette smoke, keeping one hand on the wheel while pushing Jane out of the way with the other. Then he reached for the radio.
'What's going on down there?' Libby Sarjeant peered round her easel in the window of her friend Fran's cottage.
'Hmm?' Fran wandered in from the kitchen with an enamel jug full of flowers.
'Down at the end by The Sloop.' Libby stood up and leaned out of the open window. 'There's a police car and - what's a blue and yellow car?'
'Eh?' Fran came forward and leaned over Libby's shoulder. 'Oh - Coastguard, I think.'
'I didn't hear the lifeboat, did you?'
'No, but they don't always send up a flare, you know. Anyway, perhaps the lifeboat hasn't gone out.' Fran turned away from the window and looked round for somewhere to put the jug. 'Much as I love my fireplace,' she said, 'I wish it had a mantelpiece.'
Libby turned round. 'Instead of a bloody great wooden lintel? I know which I'd prefer.'
'I just need somewhere to put my flowers.' Fran sighed and put the jug on the hearth. 'I also need some more furniture.'
'Ooh, look!' said Libby suddenly. 'The lifeboat had gone out. It's on its way back.'
Abruptly the window went dark.
'Oh, dear,' said Libby and Fran together as the ambulance passed the cottage.
'Shall we go and have a look?' said Libby, wiping a brush on a piece of rag.
'Libby!' Fran looked shocked. 'Don't be such a ghoul. Anyway, we wouldn't be allowed to get near the place.'
'We could go to The Sloop for lunch?' suggested Libby hopefully.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: 1
Chapter Two: 12
Chapter Three: 26
Chapter Four: 35
Chapter Five: 42
Chapter Six: 49
Chapter Seven: 60
Chapter Eight: 70
Chapter Nine: 78
Chapter Ten: 87
Chapter Eleven: 96
Chapter Twelve: 105
Chapter Thirteen: 115
Chapter Fourteen: 128
Chapter Fifteen: 138
Chapter Sixteen: 147
Chapter Seventeen: 155
Chapter Eighteen: 164
Chapter Nineteen: 173
Chapter Twenty: 183
Chapter Twenty One: 195
Chapter Twenty Two: 206
Chapter Twenty Three: 216
Chapter Twenty Four: 225
Chapter Twenty Five: 234
Chapter Twenty Six: 242
Chapter Twenty Seven: 255
Chapter Twenty Eight: 265
Chapter Twenty Nine: 273
Chapter Thirty: 283
Chapter Thirty One: 292
Chapter Thirty Two: 300
Chapter Thirty Three: 309
Chapter Thirty Four: 315
Chapter Thirty Five: 324
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the 4th in the Libby Sarjeant Mysteries. I read the first 2 quite awhile ago and then came across them again and tried this one. Nice easy read and interesting plot (if a bit predictable). I like the characters in this (although Fran's angsts can get a bit annoying) and would love to read more about the men - Ben, Harry and Pete - as they are more fun. It would be great if they were more involved in the crime busting. Overall a good Sunday afternoon/holiday read - nothing too taxing.
Fran and Libby - two amature detectives "of a certain age" who find themselves helping the police solve murders. Truly a wonderful cozy British village mystery series. Read them in order, there are lot of characters to get to know. If you are a fan of "village" series such as Miss Read, and mysteries such as the Mrs. Jeffries series, you will enjoy these books. Content: No gore, no sex, no swearing.