In the third in the series, vicar Stephen Capel is on his first holiday after joining his first parish in the village of Thornton Down.
In Brighton with his girlfriend, Vicky Denning, Capel hopes to get away from it all. Taking a stroll on the beach, he sees a woman fall from the ruined pier. He rescues her, but discovers that she is dead - stabbed - and soon finds himself suspected of her murder. Each day, as Capel tries to untangle himself from suspicion, another woman dies. The race is on to prevent yet another death.
The Stephen Capel Mysteries bring the classic British detective story into the twenty-first century.
Other books in the series include A Lonely Height, A Timely Confession, A Twisted Harmony, An End to Innocence, A Fall from Grace and A Fair Deliverance.
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST TWO STEPHEN CAPEL NOVELS: A Lonely Height and A Timely Confession – are corkers. I have read them both with immense pleasure and not a little admiration at [Clegg’s] craft… Mr Clegg’s hero is the Revd. Stephen Capel, a fairly muscular Christian of the Church of England, lately a prison chaplain, who, in A Lonely Height is just finding his feet in his first parish – in a fictional village on the outskirts of Bath – when he discovers a body on the summit of Glastonbury Tor. A Timely Confession – a steamy tale of indiscretion and jealousy in the software business – follows the first book, but it’s not necessary to have read one before you start the other. But be warned. If you start either, you won’t be doing anything else until you finish. Those with a taste for the more traditional end of the genre will find much to admire. Clues are scattered, dummy punches are thrown, such that one suspects absolutely everyone involved, but the final reveal is a shocker. The characterization is first rate, especially in the badinage between Capel and his foil, his old friend Ed Ridge. Capel is refreshingly normal, for a sleuth. He admits to neither tragic back story nor personal problems. Lovers of Scandi-noir should look elsewhere. Capel's only foible is that he is possibly the only English vicar who loathes tea. If old-fashioned sleuthery is Mr Clegg’s guilty pleasure, then I have to admit that I enjoy his Capel novels even more than his pop-science books. Henry Gee
I’m a sucker for a well-paced police procedural. I also enjoy reading about science. When one of my favorite science writers, Brian Clegg produces another of his novels, I expect I'll be confined to my reading chair for a few days. A Lonely Height indeed kept me riveted throughout. Both the meticulous side of the science writer and the expansive side of the student of human nature comes through in Mr. Clegg's latest. He also has a very unlikely main character whose reactions and insights provide almost constant surprise and comic touches that reveal the vicar's very engaging nature. This is a well-developed character who takes serious risks almost as easily as he writes the weekly sermon. I know I'll be looking forward to the next installment of Rev. Capel's adventures… You'll find this an engaging, enjoyable read that will also make you think a bit on your way through its pages. - Richard Sutton
The plot twists as another murder is linked to this one, the suspect could be one of many, and at one point Capel's own life is in danger. Thrown into the mystery and suspense is a little romance to lighten the mood, as well as some quirky characters whose banter is brilliant. Clegg's setting of Glastonbury is delightfully described so the reader can visualise the place, which may be a laid-back town but this by no means affects the pace of the book which is carefully developed. Clegg is well known for his non-fiction science writing and hints of this come through in the thought processes and influences of the lead characters. A very clever start in the realms of fiction for this author. - Sue Roebuck