The book starts gently, easing the reader into the world of Gwenni Morgan, a young girl who is fascinated by everything and everyone around her. The author, Strachan, introduces a splendidly entertaining cast of misfits and eccentrics, made all the more entertaining because they feel so real. In 1950s Welsh village life, everyone knows everyone's business but no-one ever says a thing.
Gwenni is a wide-eyed, captivated observer of everything that goes on. She describes the people, their clothes, their mannerisms - often in hilarious terms but always in manner consistent with her charming character. Strachan does a splendid job of maintaining Gwenni's voice and personality throughout.
It is this attention to detail that makes the story so beguiling. It quickly gathers pace with a missing man, police enquiries and a murder investigation all careering headlong into a surprising - and yet entirely logical - climax.
This is one of those books you read at one sitting, tea and biscuits at your side and a big 'Do Not Disturb' notice on the door. Superb.