While going through the pile of novels on her bedroom floor, she hears a creaking noise downstairs. Must be Rufus, she thinks, until she notices him sound asleep on top of her bed. She goes back downstairs and looks around the living room but sees nothing out of the ordinary. She looks around the kitchen and does not find anything or anyone strange either. “Perhaps the cottage is catching up with me and my creaky bones,” Diane chuckles to herself. Climbing the staircase to go back to her bedroom, Diane hears another creak, and it’s louder this time… The English village, Apple Mews, is an idyllic community where bad things never happen. Though recently, long-time resident Diane Dimbleby found herself smack dab in the middle of a murder scene on the village green. The widow of a Scotland Yard police detective, retired teacher Diane spends her days writing crime-solving mysteries, and she used her expertise to help Inspector Darrell Crothers of the Shrewsbury Police solve the case. Standoffish at first, the inspector warmed to Diane’s amazing intuition. Against his better judgment, her sweet nature won him over. Just as things are getting back to normal in the village, Diane’s dear friend and neighbour, Carys Jones, is found dead by one of her caretakers, Richard. Diane is beyond traumatized. Seeing Carys’ once lively body, now lying in a heap on the foyer floor, breaks her heart. To make matters worse, Richard’s story of an accidental fall isn’t adding up. When Darrell arrives on the scene, he isn’t surprised to see his unofficial partner already there. Diane uncovers a clue that contains a cryptic message when she temporarily takes in Carys’ dog, Rufus. Before Diane has a chance to tell the Inspector, she and Rufus are slowly stalked, and then chased, through the woods near her house. They barely manage to outrun their pursuer. She calls Darrell to share her discovery.