Betty Stash is not a Beloved - one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.
Her little sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She's the one with the golden curls and sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty's, the one whose husband should have been Betty's. And then, to everyone's surprise, Gloria inherits the family manse - a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens - that was never meant to be hers.
Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behaviour - aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a strange dog - escalates to the point of no return.
An exploration of domestic derangement, as sinister as Daphne Du Maurier's classic Rebecca, The Beloveds will have you wondering if there is any length to which an envious sister won't go.
Maureen Lindley, born in Berkshire and raised in Scotland and England, was trained as a psychotherapist. She is the author of two previous novels, The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel and A Girl Like You. She lives in the Wye Valley on the border between southern England and Wales.