The dramatic theft of an eighteenth-century painting is discovered just moments before the old manor house from which it was stolen-and is uniquely depicted in the background of the portrait-is set on fire. Making matters more grisly even is the pile of bones that is sighted in the blazing inferno moments before the roof collapses. What started as simple, if surprising, theft has quickly escalated to arson and possibly murder, and now Detective Inspector Sloan and Detective Constable Crosby have to piece together a puzzle which has its roots deep in Berebury's history. Although Tolmie Park, the property on which the manor house sits, has had a somewhat checkered and mysterious past, there are those in the community who would fight to preserve it. There are also a number of factions within the area who have differing plans to develop the property, shrouding the fire in further suspicion. It is up Sloan to sift through this assortment of characters and finally illuminate the truth.
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by Catherine Aird
by Ian Rankin
by Martin Walker
by Peter Robinson
by P.D. James
"If you hadn't scanned the CD case, you'd swear this production is read by multiple narrators. Ric Jerrom delivers an outstanding narration that brings to life the assorted characters of Catherine Aird's imaginary village of Calleshire. This mystery is another in the Inspector Sloan series, featuring the unpretentious, unperturbed detective and squabbling, conniving villagers bent upon cheating, stealing, and even murder. Here the plot centers on a real estate scam. Jerrom narrates in a genteel manner at a leisurely pace, both of which befit this classic cozy. While the plot isn't suspenseful or memorable, this is a well-performed English police procedural, true to the genre. D.L.G. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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