The story begins with Sarah going to Repton Hall to give a PowerPoint presentation to help persuade the Mayor of St Martin sur Mer and his deputy to “twin” with Cherringham. On the way in she meets Simon Repton, grandson of the owner. After the presentation was over, a long and luxurious dinner was available, with plenty of good-quality wine flowing non-stop and it slowly turned into a drunken revelry.
The following morning Lady Repton sees a body in the lake and rings the police. The body is that of the French Mayor and Lady Repton asks Sarah and Jack to look into the matter for her.
The police soon determine that the Mayor was murdered and a suspect is arrested and charged, but at Lady Repton’s request, Sarah and Jack continue with their investigation. During the course of their inquiries, they soon find out that everyone is lying; all the ‘great and the good’ of Cherringham are lying through their teeth.
I loved the little reference to two television series inserted into the story although I was surprised that Jack and his late wife had seen the originals as they were both British series. In the only other Cherringham book I have read, a reference to a real-life event in London was slipped into the story, so now I will be on the lookout for more little insertions.
Using a bit of subterfuge, Sarah and Jack, with the help of Lady Repton, uncover the identity of the real killer. Lady Repton is my favourite character in this book and sounds as if she has some time in the military in her background. Perhaps a spin-off novel?
This is a very nice little cosy, with enough to keep the reader interested, but with no real suspense in it. Well-written and edited, a story to read when you don’t want anything too taxing.