A desperate crime, kept secret for 60 years...
Esme Quentin is devastated when her sister Elizabeth is beaten unconscious, miles from her home. Two days later Esme discovers that Elizabeth has a secret past.
Desperate for answers which the comatose Elizabeth cannot give, Esme enlists the help of her friend Lucy to discover the truth, unaware of the dangerous path she is treading.
Together they uncover a trail of unresolved bitterness, blackmail and dubious inheritance and, as the truth emerges, Esme exposes evidence of a harrowing and pitiful crime.
Realising too late the menace she has unwittingly unleashed, Esme is caught up in a terrifying ordeal. One that will not only test her courage and her sanity, but force her to confront her perception of birth and family.
The Indelible Stain
Secrets from a tainted past...
Esme Quentin's arrival in north Devon is marred by the gruesome discovery of a fatally injured woman at the foot of Warren Cliff. Esme is troubled by the woman's final words and curious about the old photograph clutched in her hand. The police, however, dismiss Bella Shaw's death as accidental.
But Bella's daughter, Neave, has her own questions and approaches Esme for help. The subsequent trail leads Esme back to the brutal penal history of 19th century England and the mystery of a Devon convict girl transported to Australia for her crime.
As evidence of betrayal and duplicity are revealed, Esme discovers Bella's link to events in the past - a link which now endangers Neave and, by association, Esme.
A legacy of hatred which has festered for generations in the 'land beyond the seas' now threatens to spill over on to Devon soil with devastating consequences.
The Malice of Angels
The deepest shadows hide the darkest truth
Esme Quentin is reminded of a painful past when Max Rainsford, a journalist colleague of her late husband Tim, turns up unannounced, asking about a story on which Tim reported 35 years ago – the murder of an old soldier. Esme, wary of Max's motives, declines to get involved.
Meanwhile, Esme’s friend Ruth, prompted by WW2 anniversaries, wants to solve the mystery of Vivienne, her mother Bea's sister, a wartime nurse who never came home.
Despite Bea’s disapproval, Ruth is convinced the truth will finally help Bea come to terms with her loss and asks Esme to investigate.
Esme unpicks the threads of Vivienne's past and stumbles upon a disturbing connection, linking the old soldier’s murder to her own distressing past and her late husband's fate.
As events unravel, Esme realises that to uncover the secrets behind Vivienne’s story, she must also confront the terrifying truth behind her own.
Death of a Cuckoo - an Esme Quentin "short read"
A letter. A photograph. A devastating truth.
When Gina Vincent receives a letter of condolence from a stranger, following her mother’s death, a photograph slipped inside reveals a disturbing truth – everything she’s ever known is based on a lie. Shocked and disorientated, she engages genealogy detective Esme Quentin to help search for answers.
The trail leads to an isolated and abandoned property on the edge of Exmoor, once the home of a strict Victorian institution called The House of Mercy and its enigmatic founder, whose influence seems to linger still in the fabric of the derelict building.
As they dig deeper, Esme realises that the house itself hides a dark and chilling secret – one which must be exposed to unravel the mystery behind Gina’s past.
But someone is intent on keeping the secret hidden. Whatever it takes.