What an honour – to become trustee of an English stately home museum. Yorkshire Detective Inspector Charlie Peace’s wife, is initially thrilled when she is asked to join the board that oversee’s Walbrook Manor, an eighteenth century mansion that’s now part of a chritable trust. She’s in for some surprises.
With it’s shabby salons and drafty hallways, Wallbrook shows signs of the financial burden it caused its recent owners, members of the related Quarles and Fiennes families, known more for feuds than for affectionate family ties. They are known also for shadowy intrigues, great and small, some of which may emerge now that Walbrook and its archives are open to the public. The revelations could be devestating…and dangerous.
Rupert Fiennes and Sir Stafford Quarles represent two lines of Walbrook’s lords of the manor. Rupert seems releived to have relinquished the estate to charitable hands, while Sir Stafford clings with perhaps unseemly pride to his position as chairman of the Walbrook Manor Trust Board. A tentative peace reigns, but when the wreck of a car and the remains of a body turn up in a nearby lake, it soon becomes clear that one of Walbrook’s grimmest secrets may date to the years between the two world wars and involve something much worse than mere malice,