Hambling is a village out of Cheshire Life, where passion is a word applied to fruit and a lack of social graces the greatest crime of all. When the body of an unknown woman -- who is definitely not 'one of us' -- is found floating in the river, the first reaction is that murder can't have had anything to do with anybody local.
But soon the finger starts to point at bumbling Reggie Willoughby. Stung by the unfairness of this, his adopted niece Liz Farrell determines to clear his name. When Reggie's body is found, an apparent suicide, this simply strengthens her resolve, much to the discomfort of DCI Sheldon Hunter, who finds himself more attracted to Liz than to her theories. Soon, the ripples beneath the surface of Hambling's polite society are widening into chasms and Liz finds herself confronting unpleasant truths and uncomfortable realisations before she finally understands the depths to which respectability pushes people.
This is a book that demonstrates traditional crime writing is alive and well.