Death of the Delft Blue

While attending a conference in Holland, Dame Beatrice Bradley makes the acquaintance of a chatty but spirited girl named Binnie Colwyn-Welch. Acting on an invitation to meet the rest of Binnie’s relations, Dame Beatrice and secretary Laura Gavin are soon surrounded by the eccentric fruit of three comingled family trees. Binnie is set to marry cousin Bernardo Rose, much to the chagrin of Binnie’s brother Florian and Bernardo’s outspoken grandmother Rebekah. The match does please patriarch Bernard van Zestien, however, an elderly man worth a fortune from his business dealings in diamonds. Combining duty with holiday pleasure, Dame Beatrice and Laura enjoy exploring the Netherlandic towns while keeping an eye on the potentially volatile group of natives.

Shortly after Aunt Opal commissions a portrait of the beautiful-yet-cruel features of Florian (including a second study of the young man’s hand holding a “delft blue” hyacinth flower), the subject goes missing. An earlier accident involving polish left on the stairs–coupled with a street barrel-organ playing an unusual Scottish lament for the dead–puts the wind up, and Dame Beatrice decides to look into the matter. The trail brings her back to Britain, where Florian might have met his fate while exploring the mines and caves outside Derbyshire. But Laura is spared from rappelling into the cavernous Eldon Hole (much to her adventure-loving dismay): Florian is discovered alive, but not out of trouble. Shortly thereafter, two barmaids die from eating poisoned chocolates, and the pretty young man may have been the intended victim–or a deliberate murderer.

(Synopsis kindly by Jason Half for information only. If any third party would like to use this material please contact jason@jasonhalf.com).

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