A historic Bowie knife. A mysterious major who wants the knife. The body of a young woman in a red coat found deep in the bush. And a chance for retired coachman James Hardy to reinvent himself in a new country.
New Zealand 1881: After a reclusive Maori on the run from the police leaps onto the back of his spring buggy, retired coachman JAMES HARDY discovers he has stumbled into a murder scene. While tracking a gang of lumber thieves, police have found the body of a young housemaid beside a log. The local hermit is hunched over the corpse clutching a knife with ties to the past, but did he do it? And why does he claim he took the knife for the major?
When the inspector in charge of the case asks Hardy for assistance, in the mistaken belief that he is a retired Scotland Yard detective, he agrees. He's a great listener, he's kept up with crime in the English broadsheets, he's an expert cryptic crossword solver, and he can drive a coach better than anyone he's met; he's confident he can catch the person who used the famous knife to kill Rosie. But he'll need help from his intrepid American wife, Beatrice, and a young constable recently arrived from Ireland.
For readers who enjoy historical mysteries with unusual settings and a cast of likeable characters, tossed with snippets of history. History and mystery: an unbeatable blend.