Frances Fyfield, a attorney in England, has written a long list of novels but this one is my own itroduction to her work. It won't be the last one I read; I'm very impressed with her style, her characters, and her plot.
This is quite a mystery. You learn a little at a time about the background of the lawyer who has jumped from a hotel balcony in a bright red skirt, She had recently successfully defended a man accused of rape, torture, and kidnapping. Unfortunately, his victim had been so destroyed by him and his lawyer that she committed suicide during the trial. Afterward, the lawyer threatened to write a book telling the whole truth. Her client was a horrible man, guilty as sin, who needed to find and destroy any information she had.
You meet her sister and parents and many other characters that you begin to feel you've known forever. The sister, Henrietta, is called Hen. She knows more about fabrics and fashion than anyone and makes her living sewing, designing and/or redesigning clothes, and cleaning stains from them. She loves to take a still serviceable but outdated garment and make another out of it. She tried to save her sister Angel but was unable to.
Descriptions of places, Hen's living quarters, a museum, the parents' home, and a, for lack of a better term, love nest are fascinating. Having said that, I do believe that you will either fall under the spell and love this book, or find it much too slow.
The bad guy in this story is one of the most truly evil villains I've ever read about. Thinking of him still gives me the creeps. I guess it's kind of a delicious creepiness.
Source: Publisher via Partners in Crime Book Tours