On the night of a blizzard in January 1963, an elderly couple who live in a tiny Worcestershire village are summoned to their daughter’s cottage two and a half miles away at Longdon, on urgent but unspecified business. When eventually they reach their daughter’s cottage, exhausted and worried, they find it warm but empty. Unable to face the journey back home that night, they prepare a simple meal for themselves preparatory to retiring to bed in their daughter’s cottage. The following morning, the concerned neighbours find the couple still sitting at table, poisoned by a bottle of contaminated wine. A student is found to have been killed by the same rare poison in his London bed-sit within days of the Longdon murders. Coincidence? Surely not! Inspector Wickfield is appointed to find out. His inquiry is hampered by the repeated appearance of the deceased couple’s son who is a senior officer in the Canadian force. Weaving his way round red herrings and dead ends, Wickfield requires all his ingenuity, prompted by a random crossword clue, to uncover a devious and intricate plot instigated by a determined criminal. Julius Falconer can be relied on to provide stimulating and thought-provoking entertainment for a cosy night by the fire – but sharpen your wits first. Book reviews online: PublishedBestsellers website.