A tranquil weekend party in early December at a magnificent country house is shattered by a suspicious death.
Attending the party and taking a leading role in the ensuing investigation is one of the most beloved characters from Anne Perry's Thomas Pitt series: Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould.
Lady Vespasia's friend Isobel has made a cruel remark about Gwendolen Kilmuir on the night Gwendolen was meant to have become engaged to the eligible Bertie Rosythe. Gwendolen flees the room, and the next morning her body is found in the lake in the gardens of the estate. It appears she has jumped from the bridge. The host, Omegus Jones and Vespasia decide to find who or what might have led Gwendolen to resort to such an extreme measure. They vow to make the guilty party seek forgiveness and expiation through the task of taking a sealed letter written by Gwendolen before her death to her mother up in the north of Scotland.
The journey will be both physically and emotionally arduous but will bring answers to some unexpected and profound questions.
'This brief work has an almost Jamesian subtlety, and with its powerful message of responsibility and redemption - "We need both to forgive and to be forgiven" - it conveys a moral force in keeping with the season' Wall Street Journal 12/12/03 - Wall Street Journal
'The tale is redolent with Victorian atmosphere, from the hypocritical snobbishness to the rigid social conventions of the time' Tangled Web, 12 February 2004 - Tangled Web
Anne Perry is a New York Times bestselling author noted for her memorable characters, historical accuracy and exploration of social and ethical issues. She has written a multitude of bestselling novels including her highly acclaimed William Monk mysteries, Thomas and Daniel Pitt novels and, most recently, a spy thriller featuring Elena Standish. Anne Perry was selected by The Times as one of the twentieth century's '100 Masters of Crime'.