Series: The Augustus Maltravers Series
When a rare, misprinted edition of a sixteenth-century bible is stolen from Vercaster Cathedral, Augustus Maltravers, visiting playwright and irreverent brother-in-law of Canon Cowan, greets the theft as an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the incisiveness of his analytical mind - and to exercise his notable wit on the local devout. But humour and self-satisfaction fade when his close friend, Diana Porter, is discovered missing from the Deans garden party. She is the talented and beautiful London actress who, although recently involved in controversial publicity, enjoyed a resounding success only the night before in Maltravers monologue, performed in the Chapter House to launch the Vercaster Arts Festival. Soon further bizarre events are revealed at the Deanery and the Bishops Palace, and the search for Diana escalates into a murder hunt. But who would want to kill this remarkable girl? Was it revenge or the act of a maniac? And why have the clergy been drawn into events? Maltravers, following up some unlikely leads, is haunted by the feeling that there is a link between the disappearance of Diana and of the Bible. His conjectures reach a horrifying conclusion during the last performance of the Vercaster Mystery Plays, on the final day of the festival. Robert Richardson writes in the tradition of the finest English detective novelists, with style and wit and a penchant for ingenious puzzles. His playful but sympathetic treatment of the cathedral community, as it struggles to maintain its stability in the face of all odds, lends a poignant depth to the story.
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