The Case Has Altered
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997)
The sun, smoking behind a haze of cloud, threw off a light of burnished pewter. Mysteriously lit, it was as if the watery, colorless land refused drabness, stood determinedly against dimishment. This is a landscape that can easily deceive, the fens, a landscape that volunteers nothing, as if to say, a landscape that volunteers nothing, as to say, You’re on your own, mate–much like the habitues of the only pub for miles around called The Case Has Altered.
The Lincolnshire fens are the right setting for Richard Jury’s latest case, a mystifying double murder. The body of one woman is found on the wash; another woman lies floating in a canal in Windy Fen. Both women are connected with Fengate: Dorcas Reese, a servant; Verna Dunn, the louche ex-wife of the owner, Max Owen, a man with a passion for antiques. So when the principal suspect turns out to be Jenny Kennington, a woman Jury has long loved, he decides he needs someone inside Fengate, someone who can impersonate an antiques expert…