This is a wonderful novel for Halloween! It opens on Halloween, when Ruth Galloway has been called in to open the coffin of a 14-century bishop, who is an ancestor of the wealthy & blue-blooded Smith family. The Smiths, who own the local historical museum, are having a do to “celebrate” the opening of this coffin. Ruth arrives much too early, and when she goes into the room where the coffin is lying, she is extremely surprised to find the curator of the museum lying dead beside the coffin.
What could have happened? Is this unexplained death linked somehow to the Smiths? Or is it something else entirely?
Shortly thereafter, the Patefamilias of the Smith family dies suddenly, after a truly horrendous night of nighmares and hallucinations involving poisonous green snakes. The doctors record the cause of death as a heart attack.
When DCI Nelson falls ill with eerily similar symptoms, it seems more than suspicious. Naturally Cathbad believes that he knows what is wrong with Nelson, and he persuades Ruth to let him try out an unconventional way of saving Nelson, which involves him “sleeping” in the spare bedroom of her little cottage by the salt marsh.
I won’t say more so that those of you who have not experienced this novel can enjoy all the twists & turns. Five Stars.