Death in Candie Gardens

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Pan Macmillan, Feb 14, 2013 - Fiction - 216 pages
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Charles De Garde is a man who doesn’t have a care in the world. Partner in a prestigious Guernsey law firm, highly respected in the local community, a contented marriage to a wife who happily tolerates his string of affairs – what more could he ask for? But he makes the mistake of believing himself to be impervious to danger. A mugger is at loose on the island, and when Charles one night defies his wife’s warnings and goes for his usual stroll in idyllic Candie Gardens, it turns out to be his last.

At first it appears that Charles De Garde has been yet another hapless victim of a criminal who has finally resorted to violence – with fatal consequences. But Charles’s body has not been robbed. And when the mugger comes forward with an unbreakable alibi, it is left to Detective Inspector Tim Le Page to face the unwelcome fact that his cousin Charles may have had an enemy.

A jealous husband, a spurned mistress, and, in particular, Joly Duguy, son of a wartime collaborator, who bitterly resents De Garde’s persecution of his father – any one of these might have hated Charles enough to want him dead. But it is not until a second death in Candie Gardens that Le Page begins to make his way towards the final, terrible truth.

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About the author (2013)

An only child, Eileen Dewhurst was self-sufficient and bookish from an early age, preferring solitude or one-to-one contacts to groups, and hating sport. Her first attempts at writing were not auspicious. At 14, a would-be family saga was aborted by an uncle discovering it and quoting from it choked with laughter. A second setback came a few years later at school, when a purple passage was returned with the words 'Cut this cackle!' written across it in red ink: a chastening lesson in how embellishments can weaken rather than strengthen one’s message.

Eileen read English at Oxford, and afterwards spent some unmemorable years in 'Admin' before breaking free and dividing her life in two: winters in London doing temporary jobs to earn money and experience, summers at home as a freelance journalist, spinning 'think pieces' for the Liverpool Daily Post and any other publications that would take them, and reporting on food and fashion for the long defunct Illustrated Liverpool News, as well as writing a few plays.

Her first sustained piece of writing was a fantasy for children which was never published but secured an agent. Her Great Autobiographical Novel was never published either, although damned with faint praise and leading to an attempt at crime writing that worked: over the next thirty years she produced almost a book a year and also published some short stories in anthologies and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.

Eileen has always written from an ironic stance, never allowing her favourite characters to take themselves too seriously: a banana skin is ever lurking.

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