Mystery in a Respectable Neighbourhood

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The book begins by setting up the main character and introducing us to details about her which intrigue the reader.
The time period of the book suggests reasons for her dilemmas. To what extent, we wonder, is she in control of her own life? Why did she stop painting? How does she know certain facts? It is not clear whether we are expected to like or empathise with this woman but her life, apparently so perfect, does not seem to make her happy. Why not?
And then we meet other characters: we do empathise with the hardworking, slightly sassy help and worry about the reliability of the local police service.
But the central questions remain. Why did she want to go? Did she choose to go? And whose blood is in the kitchen?
It is an persuasive opening, offering a view of an unusual event in a respectable neighbourhood.
But we have to remember that we never really know what is happening behind the curtains in respectable-looking homes!