". . . characters are colorful, their world engaging, and Dr. Harry is especially charming. Details of food and fashion give a lush touch to the well-painted period settings--Oxford is evoked especially well--and the portrayal of factions, competition, and power plays within the scholarly world lend amusement and intrigue. Ongoing references to poetic theory, the Bloomsbury group, and the dark shadow of Hitler add to the textured sense of place. Those who aren't yet fans of Vandagriff will be hooked." --Historical Novel Review
“. . . the well-educated, literary characters . . . are enjoyable, and the plot is nicely balanced between tense action and the love triangle. . . an entertaining historical mystery." --Kirkus Reviews
Fans of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane will love this tale! A stylish mystery is set in Oxford in the 1930's with loveable characters and a cast of eccentric suspects.
After Miss Catherine Tregowyn, poet, and Dr. Harry Bascombe, her bête noire, discover a body in the Somerville College chapel, they are declared suspects in a murder inquiry. How can they prove their innocence? The pair decide they must launch their own investigation into the strangling of Oxford don, Agatha Chenowith. But working as a team will not be easy. Their relations are anything but cordial.
It is not long before they uncover motives aplenty. Apparently, Dr. Chenowith was not at all what she seemed. As the surprises about the victim’s secret life multiply, they are awash in a sea of suspects.
Into this scenario sails the former love of Catherine’s life as he returns from Kenya. Is she going to give Rafe another chance to break her heart? He convinces her to give him a six-month trial, and eager to show his worth, he joins in the investigation. Rafe offers to fly Catherine and Harry in his de Havilland six-seater to the Isle of Man where they must pursue a lead. Inevitably, Rafe and Harry square off in a battle for Catherine’s affections.
Meanwhile, playing detectives proves to be a dangerous pursuit. Catherine and Harry shortly embroil themselves in a plot much larger than mere murder. No one wants to hear their theory, however. It contains truths too painful to contemplate. And it makes Catherine and Harry’s lives expendable.