Another title from Crime Classics series favourite E.C.R. Lorac. The rural plot features a report of sheep stealing which leads a holidaying Inspector Macdonald (a regular Lorac protagonist) to a case involving arson, what looks to be murder and illegal smuggling across the moors.
“I’m minded of the way a fire spreads in dry bracken when we burn it off the fellside: tongues of flame this way and that – ’tis human tongues and words that’s creeping like flames in brushwood.”
It all began up at High Gimmerdale with the sheep-stealing, a hateful act in the shepherding lands around the bend in the Lune river – the Crook o’ Lune. Then came the fire at Aikengill house and with the leaping of the flames, death, disorder and dangerous gossip came to the quiet moorlands.
Visiting his friends, the Hoggetts, while searching for some farmland to buy up ahead of his retirement, Chief Inspector Robert Macdonald’s trip becomes a busman’s holiday when he is drawn to investigate the deadly blaze and the deep-rooted motives behind the rising spate of crimes.
Renowned for its authentic characters and settings based partly on the author’s own experiences of life in the Lune valley, E.C.R. Lorac’s classic rural mystery returns to print for the first time since 1953.
Publication date: 10/07/22
Author: E.C.R. Lorac, with an introduction by Martin Edwards