In a sequel to Daphne du Murier's Rebecca, the author has taken the family story forward to the 20th anniversary of Rebecca de Winter's death in 1931. Her widower Maxim, who married again, is long since dead and his widow has moved to Canada. Their close friend Colonel Julyan, now elderly and in poor health, still lives in Cornwall, close to where their family seat Manderley had been burnt to the ground.
The Colonel receives an anonymous parcel in the post, containing a black notebook inscribed ‘Rebecca's Tale', a photograph of her as a young child, and a postcard of Manderley. Before her death, Rebecca had asked him to ensure that she would be buried in the churchyard facing the sea. If she ended up in the de Winter crypt, she would return to haunt him.
He fears that she has kept her promise; he was never convinced by the findings of her inquest, which produced a verdict of suicide, but always suspected she might have been murdered. With the help of Terence Gray, an archivist and historian is fascinated by the case, and his daughter Ellie, he decides the mystery must be solved while he is still alive. Grey goes to London and meets Rebecca's disreputable cousin Jack Favell, who is not much help, but later Ellie gives Grey the notebook, which reveals some surprising family secrets. Ellie realises that only one person can really assist – Mrs Danvers, Rebecca's devoted personal servant, who is still alive though seriously ill, and also living in London.
This report prepared by John Van der Kiste