The village of South Mardian always observes the winter solstice with an ancient, mystical sword dance, complete with costumed performers. But for one of them, the excitement proves too heady, and his decapitation turns the fertility rite into a pageant of death. Now Inspector Roderick Alleyn must penetrate not only the mysteries of folklore, but the secrets and sins of an eccentric group which includes a surly blacksmith, a domineering dowager, and a not-so-simple village idiot.
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by Ngaio Marsh
by Carola Dunn
by Dorothy L. Sayers
"Ancient ritual and murder combine for a romp through merry old England. Nadia May's narration covers territory throughout Britain and Germany. She enlivens an eccentric cast of characters led by the town matriarch, a crotchety old blacksmith, and the village idiot. As a folklore connoisseur delves a little too deeply into local tradition, a fertility rite turns into a ceremony of death. May's narration soars as the granddaughter of the deceased practices vocal exercises and further complicates matters with her romantic entanglement and family history. Before Inspector Roderick Alleyn gets his man, misogyny, greed, and the mysteries of folklore are revealed. J.J.B. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine"
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