Death Lives Next Door (John Coffin Mystery, Book 6)
"Butler has the light touch of a master and a beguiling hero in the somberly monikered Coffin," says Booklist of Gwendoline Butler's critically acclaimed Inspector Coffin series. Following her many previous Coffin mysteries, Death Lives Next Door takes the reader back in time to Coffin's first case. Among her colleagues at Oxford University, Dr. Marion Manning is considered a brilliant scholar and an extraordinary woman. In the opinion of acquaintances, she is a kind, sensible person whose sound advice is as dependable as her own actions. Except for Joyo, the flamboyant character who shares her home as a housekeeper-companion, the respected don leads a solitary life, contentedly pursuing her studies. Why, then, should Marion Manning, wise, esteemed, successful, be the hapless victim of The Watcher - the strange, shadowy figure whose omnipresent eyes seem to follow her wherever she goes? Young Scotland Yard Inspector John Coffin, on the trail of a missing person in Oxford, finds that Marion Manning's problem is somehow involved with his quarry - and in a horrifying and unexpected manner, with murder.
on it which anyone would have been glad to have written, and then never touched the subject again. That she had become an anthropologist, been a member of a highly publicised and tragic expedition to Central America on which two men had died; that she had written a controversial book about it and then announced that anthropology did not provide the discipline she wanted, and turned herself into a philologist and a very good one at that, but that her name was still good for a paragraph in the
“Not likely, is it?” “He’s my young brother. He’d never leave me so long without a card unless he was ill or,” her voice quavered, “or worse. I can’t just let him go off into the blue like that without making an effort.” “He may not be in Oxford.” “The postmark of his card said Oxford.” From her black handbag she produced a grubby bent picture postcard of Carfax, Oxford. There was nothing written on it but the words “Love to all, Bert.” Coffin turned it over. “Well, I think you’re making a
wasn’t a lady. Not what I call one. Too loud in her dress and her ways. Of course he liked it. While he was liking it, that is. Later on they had some precious quarrels. I used to put the wireless on so I couldn’t hear.” “That was decent of you,” commented Coffin, thinking of some landladies who would have turned it off so that they could hear. “I could hear even with the wireless on,” admitted Nancy Springer. “I heard her talk about killing once.” Coffin nodded, remembering what Mrs. Good had
always expect your family to do the first real estate deal on the moon when we eventually get there.” Margaret ignored this. “Except maybe the Rockefellers, I concede a mite of rivalry there, but we’ve been at it longer, but with us it is always the full name, three initials and all, never just the Christian name.” “No,” said Ada firmly, “and since the men in your family are always called John I can well see it would not have done.” Fastening their little ties of sable and mink more firmly
know, and on that last day before I was ill I guessed. I saw her face to face; usually she was clever about people she knew, and avoided them. That’s why she tried to kill me.” “The doctors think it started on that expedition: that the shock caused by the death of her husband split Marion in two and a second personality peeled off.” “And not a nice one either,” said Rachel with a shudder. “That poor little second husband. Killed just because he put in his claim to her life.” “The second