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Things seem comfortably routine one Ash Wednesday evening in the English village of Hollingthorpe. The regulars have come together to turn the Devil’s Stone, the age-old custom of shifting a one-ton boulder in the churchyard. An odd, back-breaking custom that defies logic – except that to dispense with it always brings misfortune on the villagers during that year. Yet within minutes of shifting the great boulder that evening, misfortune – or someone – does strike. One of the participants lies beside the stone, very dead and very bloody. The CID Team from the Derbyshire Constabulary thinks that solving the case will be a snap. After all, isn’t their boss, Detective-Chief Inspector Geoffrey Graham, right there and a possible witness, one of the stone turning participants? But things are never easy. No one has seen a thing, including Graham, And those who might have observed the terror aren’t talking. Is it fear, the particularly vicious attack, or murmured threats that keep everyone mum? Detective-Sergeant Brenna Taylor and the CID team quickly become embroiled not only in the problems of the villagers but also in a web of deceit. When a red rose is found near the crime scene and WPC MacMillan goes to the wood to investigate, she is attacked, left for dead, beaten in the same manner as the original murder. Has she discovered something in the wood or close to the rose that identifies the killer? In the midst of the murder investigation Brenna steals a few precious moments with her new boyfriend and begins to wean her emotions from Graham. But in a midnight, rain-lashed forest, a heart-wrenching episode with Graham threatens to destroy her resolve. And through it all the killer silently slips into and out of their lives, thumbing his nose at her and the entire CID team, ready to strike again.
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Jo A. Hiestand is the author of two Derbyshire-based mystery series. The Taylor & Graham series uses British customs as the backbone of each book’s plot. The McLaren Case Mysteries feature ex-police detective Michael McLaren, who investigates cold cases on his own. Her cookbook, Cider, Swords and Straw, is a companion piece to the Taylor & Graham novels and features over three hundred recipes based on the customs highlighted in the plots. Jo’s insistence for accuracy -- from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area -- has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire, England, the setting for her books. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail used for McLaren’s cases. She has combined her love of writing, board games and music by co-inventing P.I.R.A.T.E.S., the mystery-solving game that uses maps, graphics, song lyrics, and other clues to lead the players to the lost treasure. In 2001 Jo graduated from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. Jo founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America. Her two cats, Chaucer and Tennyson, share her St. Louis home.
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Book Description Golden Harvest Press, 2013. Paperback. Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Seller Inventory # CHL2957453