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On vacation in a tiny village, Miss Silver investigates a murder with a decades-old motive.
The citizens of Melling are perfectly ordinary—exactly the sort one finds in just about every cozy English village—and to a certain person they might even appear boring. But to Miss Silver, people are always interesting. It has been some years since she gave up work as a governess to become a detective, and her interest in people has served her well. She comes to Melling on vacation—a long postponed visit to an old school chum—but Miss Silver's business is murder, and her vacations never last long.
The town's prodigal son has returned, wealthy and without nostalgia for the village of his birth. He intends to sell his manor house and be done with Melling forever. But Melling has not finished with him.