This character-driven mystery surprised me, because it seemed to change tones at some point. Initially, the mood seemed very dark, but towards the end it brightened up and the author attempted some dry humor. The primary whodunnit story was not all that interesting to me, but I did enjoy the characters and the ending is a surprise.
****A very well-paced and twisty thriller, with characters becoming suspect and then being cleared. Clever interaction between the characters is a Walters trademark, and does not disappoint here. Four stars because of a romance that, while satisfying, seems a little de rigeur.
Above average murder mystery that occurs on an English estate housing three women with murky reputations. Most of the novel revolves around the police trying to identify the corpse and it's relationship to the women.
The initial and mid-portions of the plot are excellent but toward the end, events seem convoluted and less believable.
There is considerable sexual content and some vulgarity. Lastly, there are some British words/phrases that might be unfamiliar to an American reader.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have now finished reading the authors second novel. The two books are very different but both very good. I hope to read more books by Ms.Walters.
Interesting twists and turns in both books.
Streech Grange is home to 3 women: Phoebe, Diana and Anne, who are suspected by the villagers to be lesbians, and/or witches, or at least immoral. Phoebe's abusive husband disappeared 10 years ago, and the townsfolk have always suspected that she murdered him. Now a decomposing body is discovered in the ice house located in the woods surrounding the grange.
Inspector Walsh investigated the disappearance of the husband 10 years ago, and is now working this case together with Detective Sergeant McLoughlin. It could be Phoebe's husband, who might have just left and has now returned (why?), or it might have been a tramp, who was last seen around the time the victim was killed, or ...
I did not like this book very much, mainly because the characters were all unlikable, and acted rather implausibly. The story is good though. Minette Walters' later books are much better.
An elegant and original first mystery by this author, with some unusual insights into the friendships and loyalties between women... The three women living in seculusion at an elegant Hampshire country house have long been fodder for village gossip...even whispers of a witches' coven. So when a faceless corpse of uncertain vintage is found in the Streech Grange ice house, Chief Inspector Walsh can't wait to make a case of it.
Lady of the manor Phoebe Maybury, still haunted by Walsh's relentless investigation of her husband's strange disappearance ten years ago, is calm. She and her two housemates - sensitive, charming artist, Diana Goode and pretty, earthy Anne Cattrell - seem as puzzled as the police. But do they have something to hide?
I fail to understand why this novel received an award. While I don't demand cozies for my mysteries, I do object to works written entirely for the shock value. If this is what life is like in Britain, thank God I don't live there. I actually feel pity for all the characters in this book. In any case, I stopped reading it after chapter eight.