Who was Lance Venyon? Curiosity over a memorial plaque leads ex-cop Peter Marsh and his daughter Georgia on a long and dangerous trail. Is it just legend, or is Arthur's golden goblet still to be found deep in the Kentish soil? And was the boating accident in which Lance Venyon was lost in 1961 an accident - or murder?
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Lost in the Kent countryside, ex-cop Peter Marsh and his daughter Georgia find themselves in a beautiful, neglected garden. It ceases to seem so idyllic when they discover that in 1949, Alwyn Field, one of the Ferbourne Five, had hanged himself from one of its trees. The Fernbourne Five came to fame in the late 1930s, known not only for their artistic work, but also for the doomed love affair between Elfie Lane and Alwyn Field, and for the tragic death of the brilliant poet Roy Sandford.
Peter and Georgia Marsh are in Broadstairs on the trail of Georgia's missing brother Rick, when they come across the strange tale of a haunted fish-and-chip shop. Tom, the "ghost", was one of the Three Joeys, a clown trio who worked on the pier in the 1950s. Tom was accused of the murder of his wife and seemingly committed suicide, though his sweetheart, now 74 years old, has never given up hope of finding him again.
When Georgia and Peter Marsh encounter a group of weirdly dressed "pilgrims" about to set out along the Old Road to Canterbury, it is clear that more is at stake than the play the Chillingham Drama Group is shortly to perform. Ostensibly, it is to be a re-enactment of a similar pilgrimage and production over 40 years earlier. But that event ended in the murder of Hugh Wayncroft, the gentle owner of the local manor house, a slaying that has never been solved....
Curiosity about a murder that took place in an 18th century folly draws father and daughter team Peter and Georgia Marsh to attend a summer gala in honour of Jane Austen at Stourdens, a Georgian mansion in Kent. Robert Luckhurst, the murdered former owner of Stourdens, was an avid collector of Jane Austen memorabilia, and his collection is thought to contain secrets about the novelist that still remain to be revealed.