Crime and Historical Novelist
The Office of the Dead
Winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger
It's 1958, and the party's over for Wendy Appleyard: she finds herself penniless, jobless and on the brink of divorce. So she runs to her oldest friend Janet Byfield, who seems to have everything Wendy lacks: a handsome husband, a lovely little daughter, Rosie, and a beautiful home in the Cathedral Close of Rosington. David Byfield is on the verge of promotion, and Janet is the perfect wife for an ambitious young clergyman.
But perfection has always been dangerous, and gradually the idyll sours. Old sins come to haunt the present and breed new sins in their place. The shadow of death seeps through the Close, and with it comes a double mystery stretching back to turn-of-the-century Rosington, to a doomed poet-priest called Francis Youlgreave.
Only Wendy, the outsider looking in, glimpses the truth. But can she grasp its dark and twisted logic in time to prevent the coming tragedy?
"Consistently good..." Donna Leon, Sunday Times
"...this highly sinister piece of work" Times Literary Supplement