When an antique shop in Holland Park is burgled, the seemingly quiet life of its proprietors, Edward Saneck and George Vickers, is suddenly in the spotlight. Why are the police so interested in a run-of-the-mill burglary, and what does it have to do with a hit and run which happened down the road? Upstairs in the flat above the shop, the residents are also hiding secrets. Jessica Holt, a shy children's book writer is having an affair with Saneck, a man with a devastating and shadowy past. Lodger Paddy is a troublemaker, mixed up with some unpleasant characters, including the violent and controlling Vickers. Superintendent Harper and Inspector MacLeish have their work cut out unravelling the complex web woven by these residents. Each has their own reason for mistrusting the police but as Vickers becomes ever more dangerous, the truth of life at Cedar Crescent must come crashing down around them. A tense psychological thriller packed with intrigue and espionage, with characters that will keep you guessing.
Born in in London in 1921, Mary was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Girls School, Acton. During the Second World War she served in the Women's Royal Naval Service (Wrens) attached to the Fleet Air Arm Meteorology branch and then briefly with the Signal Section in Plymouth. Writing was in her blood. Juggling her work as a local government officer in Middlesex Education Department with writing, at first short stories for magazines and pieces for The Times Educational Supplement, she then had her first book, The Winter City, published in 1961. The book was a success and enabled Mary to relinquish her full time occupation to devote her time to writing. Even so, when she came to her beloved Lewes in 1961, she still took a part-time appointment, as a secretary, with the East Sussex Educational Psychology department. Long before family sagas had become cult viewing, she had embarked upon the 'Fairley Family' trilogy - Good Daughters, Indifferent Heroes, and Welcome Strangers - books which give her readers a faithful, realistic and uncompromising portrayal of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times, between the years of 1933 and 1946. For many years she was an active member of the 'Monday Lit', a Lewes-based group which brought in current writers and poets to speak about their work. Equally, she was an enthusiastic supporter of Lewes Little Theatre, where she found her role as 'prompter' the most satisfying, and worshipped at the town's St Pancras RC Church.