Radio Broadwich decides to do a documentary on the small village of Twytching for international broadcast, and the townspeople divide between those who seek the patronage of Mrs. Deborah Withins, arbiter of taste and morals, and those determined to displace her in the cutthroat contest for media recognition. When a rash of poison-pen letters and a murder coincide, quiet inspector George Parrish begins to uncover secrets the leading citizens of Twytching had thought, and fervently hoped, were buried.
Robert Barnard (1936-2013) was awarded the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Nero Wolfe Award, as well as the Agatha and Macavity awards. An eight-time Edgar nominee, he was a member of Britain's distinguished Detection Club, and, in May 2003, he received the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement in mystery writing. His most recent novel, Charitable Body, was published by Scribner in 2012.