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Publisher's Summary

Toasted crumpets, a country house…and a curious murder?

Sukey Reynolds is invited to an evening at her local library to hear Jennifer Cottrell, a noted novelist, speak about her latest book. But instead of an interesting event attended by the author’s fans, a woman in the audience, Wendy Downie, accuses Jennifer of killing her lover. Before a shocked Sukey can go after her, she flees into the night. The very next day, Jennifer is found dead....

The police chase after Wendy, convinced she must have attacked Jennifer. But they find that she too has been killed - in the grounds of Jennifer’s beautiful manor. Why was she at Jennifer’s house? Are all of their suspects going to disappear? 

With the police running around in circles, Sukey decides to do some sleuthing on her own. Looking closely at Jennifer’s household and acquaintances, Sukey wonders who could have wanted her dead? The homely housekeeper, the gloomy groundsman, or the secretive secretary? 

A dog’s lead and a pair of dirty boots direct Sukey to the truth, but will she be able to let her detective colleagues know who the culprit is, before the devious villain realises they’ve been rumbled? 

A murder mystery for fans of P.D. James, Faith Martin, and Joy Ellis from the queen of cozy crime.

This book was previously published as Smokescreen.

©2008, 2019 Betty Rowlands (P)2019 Bookouture

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  • Pat McBride
  • 11-07-2020

Changes in narrator

As usual a great story. New reader intrinsically changes character personalities. Jim is now a pompous ass— totally unfamiliar and Sukey is a simpering follower. Inflections and cadences in speech take familiar friends away from the readers.

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  • Zebedee
  • 28-01-2020

Clever but spoilt by the end explanation

The plot is complex, clever, and well thought out. It’s a pity the characters are not well developed. But the big disappointment was at the end when the plot was explained. I seriously thought that either a chapter had been missed from the recording or I had accidentally missed one because in the epilogue Sukey made reference to things I did not remember happening. I listened again and they had not been present. Perhaps the author had forgotten she had not mentioned these occurrences and could not be bothered to rewrite her work. Disappointing.

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