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Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Constable, 5
March 2020. ISBN: 978-1-47212-781-5(PB)
Finnie Doyle and Paddy Lamb met at a party and fell in
love, immediately and irrevocably. They married and for a year lived in a tiny,
cold flat in Edinburgh while Paddy finished his legal studies and Finnie worked
part-time as deacon in a Church of Scotland parish which involved more or less
fulltime work as an assistant to the minister and caring for those in the
parish who required not only sympathy but practical assistance. Things get even
better when Paddy lands a job as a partner in a legal firm in a small town,
Simmerton, in the Scottish Midlands, and Finnie also finds a job as a part-time
deacon attached to the local church. Not only that, but the head of Paddy’s
legal firm, Lovatt Dudgeon, offers accommodation in a gatehouse attached to the
house where Lovatt and his wife, Tuff, live in a house called Widdershins. The name
makes Finnie feel uneasy: ‘widdershins’ is a Scots dialect word associated with
bad luck and the uncanny. But Paddy laughs at such superstition and is
insistent that they take advantage of the offer: as they got a good price for
their Edinburgh flat they will be able to advance further up the housing
ladder. So they move in; although Finnie finds the location, in a dense wood,
On their first night
in their new home, she and Paddy accept an invitation from the Dudgeons for
supper. The elderly Dudgeons are delightful, and Paddy and Finnie are charmed
by them. But just after leaving Finnie realises that she had left her handbag
and Paddy some papers in the house. They retrace their steps and to their
horror they find their hosts’ dead bodies. Finnie wants to call the police, but
Paddy begs her not to: he has a past which if found out could result in him
being struck off and unable to practise. Reluctantly, Finnie agrees she too has
something in her past which could make problems for her in her deaconship. So,
they decide to hide their discovery of the bodies, believing that they will be
found by someone before long. But the bodies are not found, and Paddy and
Finnie grow more and more distraught as time goes by.
This is very much a
novel for those who like twisty psychological thrillers and is an excellent
example of the genre. I found it compelling reading.
McPherson was born
in South Queensferry. After finishing school, she worked in a bank for a short
time, before going to university. She studied for an MA in English Language and
Linguistics at Edinburgh University, and then gained a job in the local studies
department at Edinburgh City Libraries. She left this post after a couple of years
and went back to university to study for a PhD in semantics. During her final
year she applied for an academic job, but left to begin a writing career. These
days, McPherson lives with her husband on a farm in the Galloway countryside,
where she spends her time writing, gardening, swimming and running.
born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven
years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice.
Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional
work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of
her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published
late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal
flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a
third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology –
and is now concentrating on her own writing.