The Murder Stone

The Murder Stone

eBook - 2003
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The Great War is still raging in the autumn of 1916, when Francesca Hatton's beloved grandfather dies on the family estate in England's isolated Exe Valley. Grieving for the man who raised her, Francesca is stunned to find an unsigned letter among his effects, cursing the Hattons and their descendants. Now a stranger has shown up on her doorstep, accusing her grandfather of being a murderer. Ex-soldier Richard Leighton blames Francis Hatton for the death of his mother, who vanished nearly a quarter of a century earlier. Her body was never found, only a shawl stained with her blood. And Leighton is not the only one with a claim on Francesca's grandfather. On the day of his funeral, unexpected visitors arrive with the mourners, and Francesca is besieged by charges of Hatton's vicious dealings. Yet there is also a shy young woman who praises his secret generosity. At the center of the intrigue is an unusual white stone that lies hidden in a secluded garden where Francesca once played with her five male cousins, all of them dead now on the battlefields of France. According to the terms of Hatton's will, the Murder Stone must be dug up and transported to Scotland, where it is to be buried forever. But before Francesca can begin the journey, a series of ominous "accidents" occur, culminating in the discovery of a bleeding body on the Murder Stone itself. Was Hatton the loving, caring protector his granddaughter always believed him to be? Or a vindictive, secretive man who cultivated dangerous enemies? Francesca sets out in pursuit of the truth--and into the sights of someone determined to exact a revenge long overdue.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2003.
ISBN: 9780553898125
Characteristics: 1 online resource (352 p.)

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Jun 30, 2017

A good mystery, although I find it difficult to believe that she would get away with what she got away with at the end of the book - the ending is too neat and tidy! I also find it difficult to believe that she would give up life in London, as a single young person, to live alone in her family's huge home outside a small village in England! But she is English!

CRRL_VirginiaJ Jun 08, 2017

This stand-alone from historical mystery novelist(s) illuminates the deadly secrets of a proud English family.

Aug 29, 2011

Delightfully written mystery. Set in WW1 it both gives a real feel for the period and provides a page-turning story with several unexpected twists. The last sentence of the book provides the last twist. Very good read.

hermlou May 25, 2010

Not an Inspector Rutledge mystery, this book takes place in England in WWI when Francesca Hatton returns home to tend to her dying grandfather. She is the last survivor of her grandfather's two sons and 6 grandchildren, and she inherits the entire estate. The will orders her to take the murder stone to Scotland. Instead she is occupied with strange threats by visitors to the funeral, and she is puzzled by other properties that her grandfather owned. Mystery follows mystery until she wonders just who her grandfather was and who she really is. The atmosphere is suitably gloomy, and I read eagerly to find out what would happen next and who Francesca's friends really were.


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