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Miss Tither, the village busybody, is not the best-loved resident of Hilary Magna. She has made many enemies: bombarding the villagers with religious tracts, berating drunkards, and informing the spouses of cheating partners. Her murder, however, is still a huge shock to the Reverend Ethelred Claplady and his parish.



Inspector Littlejohn's understanding of country ways makes him Scotland Yard's first choice for the job. Basing himself at the village inn, Littlejohn works with the local police to investigate what lay behind the murder.



A second death does little to settle the collective nerves of the village, and as events escalate, a strange tale of hidden identities, repressed resentment, religious fervour and financial scams is uncovered. Life in the picturesque village of Hilary Magna proves to be very far from idyllic.



About the Author

George Bellairs

George Bellairs: a bank manager, a talented crime author, part time journalist and Francophile. His detective stories, written in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s, combine wicked crimes and classic police procedurals, set in small British communities. Best known for his Detective Littlejohn stories, he is celebrated as one Britain's crime classic greats.

"One of the subtlest and wittiest practitioners of the simon-pure British detective story," New York Times

"Mr Bellairs always gives good value" The Sunday Times

"Bellairs works in a comic tradition that extends from Ben Jonson ... Each character has a particular trait exaggerated to the point of obsession or caricature." Susan B. MacDougall



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