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It promised to be a special summer’s evening in the West Country, this inauguration of a series of events commemorating the defeat of the Spanish Armada. It began with a party on an island, a jewellery exhibition, and a gathering of the Rossington family and their friends. Anna Evesleigh, the ebullient actress, was looking forward to it. And she hadn’t told her companion, the irascible archaeologist Mike Shannon, that she had a hidden agenda.>
But sudden death disrupted the party. It seemed as if it would put a spoke in Anna’s plans too. But neither she nor her friends knew that death was to occur again and again. They moved between recitals and village fêtes, basking in the sun, enjoying chilled wine and homemade cakes, and death moved with them.
Anna’s friend, botanist Lucy Rossington, is absorbed with her own future plans and her deteriorating marriage to Hugh Carey, an increasingly successful publisher. Her life is taking her far away from the West Country, her finger has slipped from the pulse of local affairs, but gradually her love for this place of her birth draws her back into its rhythm. Will she see what is wrong in time to save one of her friends from the end that is intended for them? Read the extract.
Who are the mysterious visitors at Rossington Priory? What is behind the anonymous letters that empty the new holiday apartments there? At first these questions don’t seem terribly important.
For Anna Evesleigh, the attractive actress, has been literally led into new pastures by Mike Shannon. The irascible archaeologist seems to be mellowing and even enjoying Anna’s company. But he can’t have imagined how his foray would turn out, or that it would lead him into the heroic actions that he usually just misses.
They are unaware at first of the underlying currents swirling dangerously around their friends Lucy Rossington and Hugh Carey. Lucy and Hugh’s difficult relationship is Anna’s main concern. And there are times when she wonders if she’s the only one prepared to do something about it.
But Hugh is swept up in the dangerous events at the priory and the burning issues, at least for Anna and Lucy, become Just what is Hugh’s involvement with them? and Who is the woman who seems to be at the heart of all this? They are questions he’s unwilling to answer, even when the police are asking. Read the extract.
It's a hot and sunny springtime, perfect for a wedding. But out of sight the clouds are darkening, massing as they bear down on the clear sky over Lucy Rossington's new home.
Beautifully restored, the ancient farmhouse and grounds at Withern seem idyllic as friends gather there. Ebullient actress Anna Evesleigh, who flits from interest to interest, is given the first inkling of a purpose in life that she had never expected (or wanted). She even seems to be getting on better with Mike Shannon, the irascible archaeologist who finds her so irritating. But although
Hugh Carey is unaware of it, absorbed in his own concerns, Anna knows that Lucy, his wife, is struggling with issues that could change her life and those around her.
The storm that breaks so unexpectedly over them all could not have been predicted. Its seeds were sown long ago, and nobody could have told how they would burst forth in death and destruction. And for Lucy this trouble is the last straw. She finally makes a choice that may change the lives of them all. Read the extract.
Not everyone is pleased when Berhane comes back to the moor. She was first there as an adopted child, now she's back to stay. But her return is like a stone dropped into a quiet pool, creating ever-widening ripples. The village sees its order disrupted, its peace disturbed. The trouble comes slowly, quietly, until at last somebody dies.
Lucy Rossington is visiting the village for New Year with family and friends. She's expecting a more exotic time, perhaps, than usual. But she isn't anticipating trouble.Yet she knows the irascible archaeologist, Mike Shannon, thinks that trouble comes as soon as the four of them get together – more trouble than just his antagonism to the ebullient actress, Anna Evesleigh.
At least Lucy's husband, Hugh Carey, is a tower of strength, but is that going to be enough? For as the snow comes down and the bells ring out the New Year, they unknowingly herald another death. And soon Lucy is drawn into danger again. Will she be able to save her friend? The odds seem to be against it. Read the extract.
Who stalks the cliffs of the remote West Country, mysteriously swathed in cloak and hat? Is there a connection with Lucy Rossington’s startling discovery? How do the national papers get the story so quickly?
Short-tempered archaeologist Mike Shannon is convinced it’s all part of a plot to discredit him. And he can think of plenty of suspects, including Lucy and her husband Hugh, who are staying in the neighbourhood. They fall eagerly on the puzzle, glad of an excuse to evade their boring host.
To complete Mike’s unhappiness, the lovely actress Anna Evesleigh is working nearby. She and the vicar are producing a community play in an old fishing village, covering centuries of local history. Anna and Mike always strike sparks off each other, and she’s probably the only person to enjoy the drama of his find – particularly because he doesn’t.
Coincidence has brought many of the Rossington circle together again. They can’t know that soon they will be drawn into the pageant of death that will stalk the cliffs.
This time Lucy’s unerring instinct for evil doesn’t plumb the full depth of the plot that threatens those she loves. If she can’t unmask the villain, is there anyone who can? Read the extract
The play’s the thing. Or is it?
It certainly is for Anna Evesleigh, with her first summer production at Rossington Manor. She needs to prove to herself – and irascible archaeologist Mike Shannon? – that she can succeed with this. And it is for Lucy Rossington as she watches the crowds descending on her family home – performers and audience, old village neighbours and incomers.
But Mike’s attention is elsewhere, and there is somebody else who has a watchful eye on Anna. For behind the scene another hand is gathering a hidden cast to play a drama of deceit and betrayal. A drama whose unplanned highlight is murder.
Since her own near brush with death earlier in the year, Lucy has slowly recovered her strength. By the time she picks up the threads of this latest mystery the shadow of that master hand lays heavily over her family and friends, and Lucy inevitably finds herself in danger – again. Read the extract.
Life looks promising for Lucy Rossington and her family – there is no way they could guess that in just a few days their happiness might be shattered for ever.
All Lucy’s hopes are being fulfilled now the future of the family manor in the West Country is secure.
Her elegant friend Anna has left dramatic success behind in Paris to start the long-planned theatricals at Rossington Manor – perhaps because the obstreperous archaeologist Mike Shannon is so sure she won’t.
Old friends rejoin the family circle – one of them brings in their wake a secret that somebody would kill to keep. How could the Rossingtons know that this secret will cost them dearly? Read the extract.
Lucy Rossington doesn’t need any more trouble just now. She’s got plenty of that already at the family manor in an idyllic West Country valley.
Her recent marriage is under strain as she struggles to keep the ancestral home going for her young brother, Will. Her glamorous and charming friend Anna is an increasingly successful actress, so why isn’t she happy? Lucy’s grandmother, Isobel, seems to be hiding a secret, and is surprisingly unsympathetic about Lucy’s personal dilemma.
So the odd incidents plaguing the Priory excavations, under the controversial leadership of the mercurial Mike Shannon, are really the last straw for Lucy. Does the death of an archaeologist really mean more than a temporary disturbance? Is Lucy imagining evil where none exists? She is soon to know. Read the extract.
Lucy Rossington has put a promising career on hold, so that she can keep the family home going for her young brother Will. Not an easy task, when home is an Elizabethan manor in the West Country that the family have lived in for generations.
But Lucy has plans to keep them afloat and bring them into the modern world. Grandmother Isobel is favourably inclined, but the estate manager opposes anything new.
Fortunately Lucy has support from her elegant and impulsive childhood friend Anna. There are newcomers on the scene, though, and Lucy begins to wonder if they are all that they seem. Then the taint of avarice and deceit from the past seems to stain the present. It becomes essential to know who she can trust, not only for her happiness, but also for the safety of her family and friends. Will she find out in time? Read the extract.
Moving house just before Christmas isn’t really a good idea, especially when heavy snow is forecast. And it could be even worse when the new home is in the depths of a forest. Yet that’s just what Harriet and her children did. But, contrary to expectations, it was a magical Christmas, one that changed their lives forever.
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