A young woman goes to an isolated Warwickshire monastery to visit her brother, who is a monk there. Her sister drops her off at the door. The girl meets her brother in the parlour; they say goodbye and part; and she is never seen again. A search of the buildings and grounds finally reveals her body buried in a shallow grave in the monastery cemetery. The monks, however, have a cast-iron alibi: they were all in chapel at the time of her death. Then the abbot receives a mysterious telephone-call. A man’s voice threatens to hand evidence of the murder to the police – and so incriminate one of the monks - unless the monastery puts up for public auction its most treasured possession, a unique mediaeval manuscript, and donates the proceeds to charity. Is this blackmail or a hoax? As the events unfold, the inspector and his sergeant become less and less sure of what is fact and what is fiction, and the inspector begins to fear for his newly-won promotion. The case takes him to a castle in Italy, a town-house in southern France, a laboratory in Cambridge and the home of a professor of music outside Lincoln; but the solution arrives unexpectedly in his own sitting-room. In this stylish story written in the classic tradition of British detective fiction, the author intrigues, informs and entertains in equal measure. Book reviews online: PublishedBestsellers website.
About the author
Warwickshire-born Julius Falconer, educated in Leicestershire, Birmingham and Italy, is a former translator and a retired teacher, who has taught at schools in Cornwall and Scotland. He now divides his time between a cottage in central France and the house in Yorkshire which he shares with his daughter and her husband. He was widowed in 2000. As well as some booklets and several dozen papers in professional journals, he is the author of twelve murder mysteries featuring the diffident and cultured Inspector Wickfield. Because the stories are set in Worcestershire, he has featured in the Worcester News, on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester and in the online Newsletter for the Worcestershire tourist board. His hobbies include music, gardening, walking and reading.
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