Just how can a woman keep throwing herself off the top of the big wheel at a South London fair? Two little girls witness a beautiful woman doing just that when they visit the fair back in the 1890s. In the late 1950s she is still falling off the wheel and Dr. Robbie MacTavish is a witness, as is a small boy, Ronnie Fisher, the great nephew of the Reverend Bernard Paltoquet's housekeeper, Mrs. Harper.
This novel, which is the fourth in the Reverend Paltoquet supernatural mystery series, tells of the murder of a 17 year-old girl on Wandsworth Common in 1954, and the attempts by Chief Inspector Neverholme and his sidekick Sergeant Rathbone to solve it. It also tells the story of two sisters, one pretty, one plain, and the effect the pretty one's fiancé has on their lives dating back to the end of the First World War.
Sometimes we're not alone. What is the secret behind the brutal murders that have taken place sporadically over the last century in a small, insignificant South London terraced house? The Reverend Bernard Paltoquet is determined to find out when two of his favorite parishioners are found with their heads caved in in front of the ornate Victorian fireplace by their five-year-old son, Henry Freeman. This fireplace seems to be the key to the puzzle. Despite years of neglect, the living room hearth is always spotlessly clean, like the day it was installed. Why?
Once again, we are in the cozy, but slightly scary, world of private eye Barney Carmichael. It is 1959 and into his life comes a new client, Brian Amory, who claims he is being followed wherever he goes. Meanwhile, in a quiet leafy street in a north London suburb, a woman is done to death in her own hallway and the police are baffled.
The Reverend Bernard Paltoquet and his new friend Dr. Robbie MacTavish go on a tour of Europe shortly after the war and encounter a mystery in a Bergen forest. Just why are the ghosts of two little children haunting a fir tree there and just how can the two friends help uncover the mystery surrounding their deaths?
The Reverend Bernard Paltoquet and Dr. Robbie MacTavish, together with their mutual friend, medium and clairvoyant Dorothy Plunkett, are drawn into the lives of a family whose tragic story is traced back to violent events that took place back in the London of 1887.
In 1913 suffragette Ameline Stroud-Sinclair and her husband disappear from their South London home under mysterious circumstances. The scene shifts to 1958, where Barney Carmichael, a former juggler turned private detective, is hired by Ameline's sister to find her.
The Second World War is the bloodiest on record. It was the first total war in history when civilians, men, women and children were on the front line as never before. With so many millions involved, the rumor machine went into overdrive, with tall stories built on fear of the unknown. With so much at stake, boffins battled with each other to build ever more bizarre weapons to outgun the enemy. Nazi Germany alone had so many government-orchestrated foibles that they would be funny if they were not so tragic.