Set during World War II, this is a wonderfully nostalgic mystery. When country mouse Laura Fane turns twenty-one, she comes into a sizable inheritance and travels to war torn London to meet with her solicitors. While there, she makes the acquaintance of her cousin, Tanis Lyle, a vibrant, charming temptress who specializes in other women's boyfriends. They had never before met due to a long standing family feud. She also meets a friend of Tanis, Casey Desborough, a Royal Air Force pilot, and they fall in love.
Tanis invites Laura to stay at the Priory, the Fane family estate, which Laura has inherited but is on a long term lease to Agnes Fane, a lease which is about to run its course. It seems that Laura's father had once been engaged to Agnes, who was his cousin, but broke it off when he met Laura's mother. Hence, the long familial estrangement between the two families began. Now, it seems, Agnes Fane wishes to buy the Priory and bequeath it to Tanis, but Laura is not inclined to do so.
When Laura arrives at the Priory, she is among any number of guests, including, Casey. Unfortunately, Aunt Agnes is under the mistaken belief that Tanis and Casey are engaged, and views Laura as an interloper in the path of true love, just as Laura's mother once was. So, when Tanis is murdered, suspects and motivations abound. As luck would have it, Miss Maud Silver, a retired governess turned private enquiry agent, is also a house guest at the Priory, there on another matter. So, she is Johnny on the spot to assist the police.
This is an enjoyable English country house mystery that takes place in wartime Britain. The house is filled with interesting, quirky characters, anyone of whom could have a motive for murder. The plot is well-crafted and the story is well-written and fully developed. Miss Silver is an interesting character, an astute observer able to discern the dark side of human nature where it lurks. Those readers who enjoy English country house mysteries will find this one quite worthy of their time.