Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels is on sick-leave at her home in Windsor, which she shares with her cat, Muff. She has her first encounter with her enigmatic neighbour, Miss Eagle, when their cats have a fight. Although Winifred Eagle lives alone she receives many visitors, nearly all female, one of whom is a local policewoman. Rumour has it that the group are a coven of witches.
One of their number, a young woman, is brutally murdered in her own home, her hands tied in front of her, her body surrounded by objects usually associated with witchcraft. Someone arrives to find her dead, but leaves and says nothing.
Later that day the grisly scene is discovered by beauty consultant Denise Flaxon who raises the alarm. Despite being on leave, Charmian finds herself drawn into investigations of the coven and comes up against a wall of silence. Who is the dead woman, and why did she come to Windsor? And what is the true identity of the witches' companion, the enigmatic Josh Fox?
In this superbly crafted whodunit Charmian Daniels cleverly unveils the truth and reveals a killing motivated by baser instincts than the supernatural.
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.