The second in a series of Ellie Quicke Mysteries, based in a church setting and featuring a recently widowed woman who finds herself to be something of a sleuth.
When Ellie returns home from her Christmas holiday, she is shocked to hear allegations of foul play at the vicarage. Within days, the vicar, Ellie's good friend, is dismissed and transferred admist rumours that he was having an affair with Nora, the plain but talented organist.
Everyone is furious with Nora for the departure of the vicar, yet Ellie tries to help the disturbed woman. Nora shows her some of the threatening letters she has received and tells her of some menacing harassment she is enduring.
But it all becomes too much for Nora, and the village is shocked when she commits suicide. Ellie decides to get involved, despite warnings from Roy, a newcomer who is showing romantic interest in her. As she begins to decipher a series of clues and strange confrontations, she realizes that her own life is in danger.
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"Cozy fans who enjoyed Ellie Quicke's debut, Murder at the Altar, will welcome the appealing middle-aged sleuth's second, even stronger outing. Widowed Ellie is just starting to recover from the recent death of her beloved if domineering husband, Frank. Returning to her village after a stay at her daughter's in London, she learns that poison-pen letters pointing to scandal at St. Thomas' Rectory have led to the reassignment of her dear friend, the Reverend Gilbert Adams, and the emotional breakdown of the fey Nora, the church organist. Ellie agrees to try to find out who's behind the letters. One evening, Ellie investigates a light in the church and witnesses a "suicide" that she alone considers to be murder. Dismissed by the local police, Ellie puts her own life at risk to seek the truth. Our smart and determined heroine must also deal with her late husband's imperious aunt Drusilla; her spoiled, self-centered daughter, Diana; and a new man in her life, the suspiciously smooth Roy. Minor characters introduced in the first book take on new depth. Readers will cheer as Ellie takes charge after a lifetime of deferring to the wishes and wants of others. Anglophiles will relish the loving descriptions of those parts of London that make the great metropolis seem like a quaint village."From the Back Cover:
Just as Ellie Quicke is beginning to come to terms with life as a widow, malicious letters start to spread through the parish. The much-loved vicar and the rather feeble organist, Nora, are the first targets. Pretty soon chaos is reigning in the parish and Ellie is called on to help.
But the messages keep on coming, and now the targets include Ellie herself. Perhaps there is more than one crafty hand at work? As one victim is tragically driven to suicide Ellie discovers that the poison spread by the letters can be fatal to anyone who receives them…
"Combining sparkling wit and humour, quirky acts of fate and a dramatic ending, Heley provides all one needs for a satisfying read"
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. BOOK STORE BUY OUT! THIS IS A BRAND NEW BOOK! Some books may have a book store price sticker on them. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000013238
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007122942
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0007122942 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW4.0001726