Badger's Drift - a tranquil English village, home to Miss Emily Simpson, a kindly, well-liked spinster. But when poor Miss Simpson takes a gentle stroll in the woods near her home one day and sees something among the trees that she was never meant to see, her peaceful existence is brought to an abrupt end. To most, Miss Simpson's death looks ...Read MoreBadger's Drift - a tranquil English village, home to Miss Emily Simpson, a kindly, well-liked spinster. But when poor Miss Simpson takes a gentle stroll in the woods near her home one day and sees something among the trees that she was never meant to see, her peaceful existence is brought to an abrupt end. To most, Miss Simpson's death looks natural enough, but her old friend Miss Lucy Bellringer is unconvinced and calls on Chief Inspector Barnaby for help. Sure enough, as he investigates, a previously unseen seamy side to Badger's Drift is revealed - one where old rivalries, old loves and new scandals are rife. And then there's a second, horrifically gruesome killing...Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1987-11-13 The British author makes her debut here in an uncommonly appealing mystery, set in a tranquil village, Badger's Drift. Learned Chief Inspector Barnaby and callow Sergeant Troy go to work when importunate, elderly Miss Bellringer insists that her friend, Emily Simpson, did not die of a heart attack as her doctor claimed, but was murdered. An autopsy proves Miss Bellringer right; Emily had imbibed a Socratic mix of wine and hemlock. Spreading alarm throughout the community, an unseen murderer strikes again, leaving sly Mrs. Rainbird's bloody corpse to be found by her son, the local undertaker. As Barnaby and Troy investigate, they turn up evidence of another crime years earlier, and several suspects. Among them are the doctor's promiscuous wife, a young woman whose brother objects to her marriage to a rich widower and a Lady Chatterley-type gamekeeper. Diligent detecting brings the chief and his bumbling assistant to a sensational expose. Graham makes the characters humanly believable in her witty and tragic novel, a real winner. (January 21)
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