Father Gabriel Neville has everything going for him as vicar of St Anne's, Kensington Gardens: intellectual prowess, physical beauty, a happy family life and the prospect of promotion to Archdeacon. But his perfect world is shattered when he receives an anonymous letter that has the power to destroy his career and marriage, by threatening to expose something that no one could possibly know. The only person Gabriel can turn to is David Middleton-Brown, an old friend and a man with a few secrets of his own. Against his better judgement, David comes to London, where his discreet enquiries bring to light a whole host of suspects. There's the eccentric church organist, Miles Taylor; the gossip Mavis Conwell; the disapproving Dawson family; the Churchwarden, Cyril Fitzjames, who's in love with Gabriel's wife Emily; and the charming and talented artist Lucy Kingsley. In his efforts to help Gabriel uncover the blackmailer, David hauls numerous skeletons out of cupboards, and enters into a web of relationships that threaten to shatter his own peace of mind.
Kate Charles, who was described by the Oxford Times as 'a most English writer', is in fact an expatriate American, though an unashamedly Anglophilic one. She has a special interest and expertise in clerical mysteries, and lectures frequently on crime novels with church backgrounds. Kate lives in Bedford with her husband and their dog, and is a former Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association and the Barbara Pym Society.
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