About the Book
89-year-old spinster, Janet Stouter, takes pleasure in raking up scandals, old and new, about her neighbours. She also relishes refusing her two nephews the money they seek to bolster their businesses. When a retired glass worker gives her some arsenic to kill the rats in her garden, she hatches a plan to test them. She tells them about the arsenic and waits for them to prove themselves worthy of inheriting when she dies. Whoever attempts to kill her will be her sole heir; if both do, of course, they will each get half share of her substantial amount of savings. She does, however, make sure that her life will be in no danger.
Unfortunately, the old lady spreads word of her newly acquired poison around the village, thus laying the seeds of murderous intent in several people. She had not foreseen that several other would-be assassins will come into the frame or that one will succeed in silencing her vicious tongue forever. This is a whodunnit in the classic style of Agatha Chrisite.
Doris Davidson was born in Aberdeen in 1922, the daughter of a master butcher and country lass. In 1967 she became a primary school teacher, and subsequently taught in schools in Aberdeen until she retired in 1982 to become a writer, publishing her first work in 1990. Thirteen novels, one collection of short stories and an acclaimed autobiography – A Gift from the Gallowgate – later she was firmly established as one of the country's best-loved romantic novelists. Doris died in June 2012.