It is spring 1810 and young parson Tobias Campion is looking forward to taking over the small Warwickshire parish of Moreton Priory. But his first night in the village gets off to an inauspicious start when Tobias has to prevent a rich young blood from molesting the pretty housemaid Lizzie Woodman. Befriended by the local doctor, Edmund Hansard, and the capable Mrs Beckles, Tobias soon settles into his new role. He finds there is plenty to keep him busy in the parish. But beneath the quiet village life Tobias has a troubling sense that all is not quite as it seems.In the meantime, his admiration for Lizzie soon blossoms into something more. But he is not the only man competing for her attention and Tobias resigns himself to the fact that his feelings for the girl will remain unrequited. Besides, he soon has more serious matters to attend to. The suspicious death of poacher, the untimely demise of a local aristocrat and a mysterious attack on Tobias himself confirms his previous misgivings; malign influence is at work in the supposedly sleepy hamlet. And then Lizzie disappears. Tobias and Dr Hansard resolve to investigate.In their search for answers they find themselves delving into the dark secrets of the past, not anticipating the serious danger to which they are exposing not just themselves but also those they love.
Prize-winning short-story writer JUDITH CUTLER is the author of over twenty contemporary novels, including two acclaimed crime series set in the murkier depths of Birmingham. Her latest stand-alones show there's no escaping crime in the countryside either. This is her first historical crime novel, though her historical short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies all over the world.Judith has taught Creative Writing at Birmingham University and has run writing courses elsewhere, including a maximum-security prison and an idyllic Greek island. She lives in Kent with her husband, fellow Allison & Busby author Edward Marston.