‘[Kate Charles’s] pointed satirical style produces amusing characters and wonderfully awkward moments in the life of a community so stultifyingly inbred that a festival of flower arranging counts as blood sport.’ - New York Times Book Review

‘Fascinating behind-the-scenes cathedral politics.’ - Sunday Telegraph

‘A superior example of the modern mystery novel in which atmosphere, characterisation and setting cast an unbroken spell.’ - Irish Independent

Even before Stuart Latimer arrives as the new Dean of Malbury, shock waves are reverberating through the tightly knit and insular Cathedral Close, with sweeping changes afoot. And the reality is even worse than the expectation. The Dean’s naked ambition and ruthless behaviour alienate everyone in the Chapter: gentle John Kingsley, vague Rupert Greenwood, pompous Philip Thetford and, especially, strongly traditionalist Arthur Brydges-ffrench.

Financial jiggery-pokery, clandestine meetings, malicious gossip, and several people witnessing more than they ought make for a potent mix. But who could foresee that the mistrust within the Cathedral Close would spill over into violence and death? Canon Kingsley’s daughter Lucy draws in her lover David Middleton-Brown, against his better judgement, and together they probe the surprising secrets of a self-contained world where nothing is as it seems.