The coffin arrived by train. It was labelled urgent and addressed to the 'Deerham Hills Hospital: Pathology Department', although nobody at the hospital seemed to be expecting it. So it waited.
But the contents of this coffin were eventually to provide some busy and perplexing weeks for the local police, and especially for Sergeant Charmian Daniels, whose special province was coping with missing girls. And there had already been quite a spate of them that summer . . .
Jennie Melville, a pseudonym for Gwendoline Butler, was born and brought up in south London, and was one of the most universally praised of English mystery authors. She wrote over fifty novels under both names. Educated at Haberdashers, she read history at Oxford, and later married Dr Lionel Butler, Principal of Royal Holloway College. She had one daughter, who survives her.
Gwendoline Butler's crime novels are hugely popular in both Britain and the United States, and her many awards included the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger. She was also selected as being one of the top two hundred crime writers in the world by The Times.