She lay on her back, her head and shoulders at an unnaturally curved angle, as though she had arched herself in a last tremendous convulsion as death overtook her. The grass around her was stained with blood and a dart was sticking out above the neckline of her dress.
This is a sparkling whodunit in the best Anne Morice style: the action takes place in and around an ostentatious stately home where murder strikes at the garden fête.
The gala is being thrown by a millionaire tycoon in aid of the local conservation society. Noted actress Tessa Crichton has been given the job of declaring the event 'open'. While not expecting open season on murder, Tessa is unable to resist the chance to do some on-the-spot investigation, especially as the police are building a damaging case against someone she considers to be innocent.
There are plenty of suspects and plenty of motives; nobody shows much inclination to tell the whole truth and Tessa's involvement becomes more personal and more dangerous when another corpse is discovered soon afterwards.
Death of a Heavenly Twin, originally published in 1974, is a crime story of ingenuity and wit, with a cast of sharply-observed eccentrics and a final surprise revelation. This new edition features an introduction and afterword by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
'Anne Morice has a gift for creating intelligent, affection-generating characters, set in light and entertaining atmospheres.' Spectator
'Relaxing, polished entertainment of high order.' Daily Telegraph