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When Holly Dunthorne returns home to the village of Roydon Saint Agnes she finds that a friend, Marcus Meriden, has been accused of beating up an old man. There are witnesses who say they saw it happen, and the only one who might possibly clear him stays stubbornly silent. But when murder happens and a newcomer to the village seems to attract everyone's attention, Holly finds everything has changed, not least her old friends, the Meridens, among whom she feels herself a stranger - and afraid.
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One of the most distinguished crime writers of her generation, Elizabeth Ferrars was born in Rangoon and came to Britain at the age of six. She was a pupil at Bedales school between 1918 and 1924, studied journalism at London University and published her first crime novel, Give a Corpse a Bad Name, in 1940, the year that she met her second husband, academic Robert Brown. Highly praised by critics, her brand of intelligent, gripping mysteries beloved by readers, she wrote over seventy novels and was also published (as E. X. Ferrars) in the States, where she was equally popular. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine described her as as 'the writer who may be the closest of all to Christie in style, plotting and general milieu', and the Washington Post called her 'a consummate professional in clever plotting, characterization and atmosphere'. She was a founding member of the Crime Writer's Association, who, in the early 1980s, gave her a lifetime achievement award.
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