When Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid takes Gemma, Kit, and Toby for a holiday visit to his family in Cheshire, Gemma is soon entranced with Nantwich's pretty buildings and the historic winding canal, and young Kit is instantly smitten with his cousin Lally.
But their visit is marred by family tensions exacerbated by the unraveling of Duncan's sister Juliet's marriage. And tensions are brought to the breaking point on Christmas Eve with Juliet's discovery of a mummified infant's body interred in the wall of an old dairy barna tragedy hauntingly echoed by the recent drowning of Peter Llewellyn, a schoolmate of Lally's.
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Crombie's combination of the fair-play whodunit with a psychological examination of her characters may remind some readers of P.D. James, but her sleuths lack the depth of James's Commander Dalgleish." - PW.
"The intriguing personal relationships and family dynamics drive this well-crafted, impressive mystery-drama." - Booklist.
"Crombie needs to curb her love for red herrings, which swell her plot to fantastic proportions. " - Kirkus.
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Deborah Crombie was born in Dallas and grew up in Richardson, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas, the second child of Charlie and Mary Darden. A rather solitary childhood (brother Steve is ten years older) was blessed by her maternal grandmother, Lillian Dozier, a retired teacher who taught her to read very early. After a rather checkered educational career, which included dropping out of high school at sixteen, she graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, with a degree in biology.
She then worked in advertising and newspapers, and attended the Rice University Publishing Program. A post-university trip to England, however, cemented a life-long passion for Britain, and she immigrated to the UK, living first in Edinburgh, Scotland, and then in Chester, England.
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