light in a window seen through a swastikaMurder mystery set in an English country house. Alternates chapters with the points of view of a Scotland Yard inspector and the newlywed wife of a prime suspect. What sets it apart from other “cosy” mysteries is that it takes place in an England that chose to sign a treaty with Hitler. Matters are complicated by the fact that the victim negotiated the treaty and the manner of his death throws suspicion on the only Jew who happens to be around.

My clumsy summary does not do justice to Walton’s delicate and nuanced narrative. This is a carefully written and deeply thought book that reads like a potboiler. And while it’s easy to dismiss any comparison of current events with those of WWII as hyperbolic, it’s difficult to deny that there is some resonance. Enough that even though I read the book very quickly the characters and situations have stayed knocking around my head even here over a month after I finished it.

Her second book in this setting just came out (Ha’penny) and there will be one more forthcoming.