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Real-life crime has engulfed the domestic life of the Riverside Theatre players. For starters, there’s the violent death of Estelle Bignall, the beautiful, neurotic wife of a well-to-do doctor (and aspiring resident playwright). In truth, suicide seemed more Estelle’s line—especially during the Christmas holidays—but a thief saved her the trouble, stealing all the presents and leaving her bound, gagged, and suffocated. Instinct tells Detective Chief Inspectors Lloyd and Judy Hill that Estelle’s murder is far more complicated. At the crime scene there are too many footprints, too many fingerprints, too much conflicting evidence—and too many suspects: an elusive burglar, a sinister next-door neighbor, the victim’s secret lover, a scared kid with fresh bruises on his face. But which of them was desperate enough to commit murder? From the Paperback edition.