Barbara Cleverly, bestselling author of the Joe Sandilands series, introduces an ingenious new sleuth who navigates 1920s Cambridge, a European intellectual capital on the cusp of dramatic change.
England 1923: Detective Inspector John Redfyre is a godsend to the Cambridge CID. The ancient university city is at war with itself: town versus gown, male versus female, press versus the police force and everyone versus the undergraduates. Redfyre, young, handsome and capable, is a survivor of the Great War. Born and raised among the city's colleges, he has access to the educated élite who run these institutions, a society previously deemed impenetrable by local law enforcement.
When Redfyre's Aunt Hetty hands him a front-row ticket to the year's St. Barnabas College Christmas concert, he is looking forward to a right merrie yuletide noyse from a trumpet soloist, accompanied by the organ. He is intrigued to find that the trumpet player is--scandalously--a young woman. And Juno Proudfoot is a beautiful and talented one at that. Such choice of a performer is unacceptable in conservative academic circles.
Redfyre finds himself anxious throughout a performance in which Juno charms and captivates her audience, and his unease proves well founded when she tumbles headlong down a staircase after curtainfall. He finds evidence that someone carefully planned her death. Has her showing provoked a dangerous, vengeful woman-hater to take action?
When more Cambridge women are murdered, Redfyre realizes that some of his dearest friends and his family may become targets, and--equally alarmingly--that the killer might be within his own close circle.