What does a woman in her fifties do when her husband walks off with a younger model? A valuable string of pearls provides the ready-made answer -she sets about stealing jewellery as a declaration of independence. Theft provides more adventure than profit until a golden retriever, a craftsman joiner and a young man threatened with violence provide unexpected interests of a different kind for Martha Plasky. A diversity of crime, chaotic river cruising, some skilled wood-work and a hopeful apprenticeship disturb orderly domestic life in the riverside suburbs of London. The planned career of an ambitious thief is amiably thwarted by other kinds of adventure. Please be warned, this book contains a modicum of sex and violence but far more about the triumphs of some agreeable people. David Stewart-David is a retired lecturer who has turned to fiction to escape from footnotes.