She applied the Page 69 Test to Buried in the Country, the fourth Cornish mystery, and reported the following:
From page 69:Learn more about the book and author at Carola Dunn's website and blog.[Sir Edward] took the decanter back to the tray and stopped to talk to Tariro and Gina, who had parted the curtains to look out at the storm. Meanwhile, Norton popped in again to beg for a word with her ladyship. Payne started towards Eleanor and Nontando, but Eleanor gave him a look that he correctly interpreted as "Stay away."Eleanor's task is to keep the peace between the participants. As page 69 demonstrates, it's clearly going to be a job worthy of the talents of the retired global aid worker.
"Have you met Tariro before, Miss Nontando?" she asked. "Something gave me that impression."
"Something like his walking away before we could be introduced?" Nontando said dryly. "Yes, we met in Oxford. We both did our A-levels at Oxford Tech, so we could hardly help getting to know each other."
"I imagine it was a relief, in a strange country, to know someone from home."
"It was. In fact, we...went out together."
Lived together? Eleanor wondered. "Then he stayed in Oxford and you went to London."
"He was offered places at both Oxford and LSE. He could have chosen London," Nontando said resentfully. "He wanted me to give up my education, marry him, and get a job. To support him. Typical Shona. Though, to be fair, Ndebele men are just as bad. If you know Zimbabwe, you know women count for nothing."
So much for Sir Edward's peace conference!
Meanwhile, her niece, DSI Megan Pencarrow, is providing security, watching out for spies. Page 69 gives no hint of this side of the story, nor of the two villainous men who may have followed her to the isolated hotel where the conference takes place. She's also looking for a local solicitor who's gone missing.
All these threads come together when a murder occurs. It leads to a wild car chase, in an attempt to prevent further deaths, followed by a full-scale manhunt on foggy Bodmin Moor at night. Eleanor, with her knowledge of the moors and her diplomatic skills, plus a few tricks she's picked up on her travels, emerges with the solution to the mystery.
Coffee with a Canine: Carola Dunn and Trillian.
The Page 69 Test: Manna from Hades (the 1st Cornish Mystery).
The Page 69 Test: A Colourful Death (the 2d Cornish Mystery).
The Page 69 Test: The Valley of the Shadow (the 3d Cornish Mystery).