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Upper Quintern is the sort of Little English Village that is home mostly to the very rich and the servants who make their lives delightful. But Sybil Foster's life is not delightful; exhausted from her various family stresses – a daughter, for instance, who wants to marry a man without a title! – Sybil takes herself off to a local hotel that specializes in soothing shattered nerves. When she's killed, Inspector Alleyn has a real puzzler on his hands.