Bantam, Nov 2004, 6.99, 336 pp.
During construction work at Datchworth Castle in the village of Wallwoon in Oxfordshire, England, a secret room is uncovered. Expensive silver dating from the Cromwell era and manuscripts are found in the forgotten room. Rob Hillman is hired to translate and catalogue the manuscripts, a job he loves. Not long afterward, castle owner Sir Gregory asks his butler to bring Rob to him, but after he seemingly vanished; the translator is found murdered on the grounds although the police can find no motive for killing the popular Rob.
Reverend Kathryn Koerney was planning a visit to Oxford to show her New jersey parishioners the real city beneath the modern day glass. She also was going to see her cousin Rob, but learns he is dead. She turns the tour over to a friend and accompanied by Police Chief Tom Holden journeys to Datchworth castle to pick up Rob's belongings and hopefully to uncover a clue, not understanding that the killer has no mercy especially if someone starts sniffing too close.
Christina Summers uses flashbacks from various post World war II years so that readers obtain a feel for the families who occupied Datchworth Castle, but that sense of location and tradition also confuses the audience because there seems no link to the homicide. Thus in spite of a fun amateur sleuth working with a professional law enforcement official, the interesting trivia disrupts an intriguing who-done-it (especially the why).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner