When new evidence in a 1963 murder case leads to a new trial for
nanny Cissy Kohler, who's been serving a life sentence for killing
her employer's wife Pam Westropp, peerlessly curmudgeonly
Mid-Yorkshire Chief Supt. Andrew Dalziel drugs D.C.I. Peter Pascoe
into the reopened investigation, trying to defend the judgment of
Dalziel's mentor Inspector Walter Tallantire, who made the arrest,
against the insinuations of South Thames investigating chief
Geoffrey Hiller. The case groans under the eminence of the
politicos and royal connections involved and the weight of its
staggering complexities - did Sir Ralph Mickledore, who was
executed for the murder, pull the trigger at the instigation of
Cissy? why did Cissy, who never denied her guilt, suddenly seek
parole 13 years after her conviction and just as suddenly abandon
it? why is the witness whose long-suppressed testimony abruptly
freed Cissy found dead? - but the salt-and-pepper inquiries of
Dalziel and Pascoe, especially a flying trip that leads to the
tabloid headline "CROCODILE DALZIEL," are pure pleasure. Not quite
the equal of the sterling Bones and Silence (1990), but several
lengths ahead of the current competition. (Kirkus Reviews)
'The story is expertly told, skein by skein, with a new knot to be
untied just when you think everything is clear' Sunday Telegraph
1963. It was the year of the Profumo Scandal, the Great Train
Robbery, the Kennedy Assassination -- and the Mickeldore Hall
Murder. The guests at the Hall that weekend had included a Tory
minister, a CIA officer specializing in dirty tricks, a British
diplomat with royal connections -- and Cissy Kohler, a young
American nanny who had come to England for love. And love kept her
in England for nearly thirty years. In jail. For murder. Detective
Superintendent Andrew Dalziel is convinced that Cissy Kohler was --
and is -- guilty. But, investigating further, he soon finds his
certainties being eroded. Not a state of affairs Dalziel can put up
with for long, particularly when his old mentor's reputation is at
stake. Not to mention his own!
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