I wonder if I should keep these diaries under lock and key. Jenny Spede has disturbed them again . . . What does she make, I wonder, of an old woman, deformed by arthritis, stripping naked for a young man? The pills worry me more. Ten is such a round number to be missing . . .
Mathilda Gillespie's body was found nearly two days after she had taken an overdose and slashed her wrists with a Stanley knife. But what shocked Dr Sarah Blakeney the most was the scold's bridle obscuring the dead woman's face, a metal contraption grotesquely adorned with a garland of nettles and Michaelmas daisies. What happened at Cedar House in the tortured hours before Mathilda's death?
The police assume that the coroner will return a verdict of suicide. Only Dr Blakeney, it seems, doubts the verdict. Until it is discovered that Mathilda's diaries have disappeared . . .
`An atmosphere of tantalizing, overpowering menace . . . The tradition of the English whodunnit has passed into the safe hands and dangerous imagination of Minette Walters' The Times
Minette Walters is England's bestselling female crime writer. She has written 11 novels and has won the CWA John Creasey Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award and two CWA Gold Daggers for Fiction. Minette Walters lives in Dorset with her husband and two children.