"It was Deborah who was the enemy. Deborah who had been married, who had at least had her chance of happiness. Deborah who was pretty and selfish and useless. Listening to the voices behind her in the growing darkness Catherine felt sick with hate."Family drama aplenty is exposed within Martingale Manor House upon the death of the new parlour maid, Sally Jupp. Reminiscent of an episode of Revenge, the plot twists and turns to reveal the many secrets hidden behind daily village life and allows Detective Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to unmask the culprit in James' first novel. Who could resist opening the pages of the gorgeous faber firsts edition I had before me?
While the novel was a little sluggish to begin with, by the final chapters I knew I would have to forgo an early night to find out what really happened to the parlour maid. Had she been "done in" because of her recent pronouncement that Stephen Maxie had proposed? Who was the father of her child? Which one of the Maxie family or their guests had indulged in a little strangulation? Was it a stranger?
Well it would seriously be no fun of me to reveal the answer! However, I will allow a 4 out of 5. Who said village life was dull?