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We never get to find out for sure who killed Hilary Robarts. Dalgleish is pretty sure that it was cookery book author Alice Mair, but as he ruefully reflects, there's not a single shred of forensic or circumstantial evidence to substantiate this theory. All he has to go on is...

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We never get to find out for sure who killed Hilary Robarts. Dalgleish is pretty sure that it was cookery book author Alice Mair, but as he ruefully reflects, there's not a single shred of forensic or circumstantial evidence to substantiate this theory. All he has to go on is the word of Alice's friend Meg, someone who, as she admits herself, has made trouble in the past and has a history of mental illness.

The coroner hasn't even been able to establish that Alice committed suicide; the fire investigator's report concluded that she died in an accidental fire. The lack of an obvious motive is also a problem is conclusively establishing Alice's guilt. It was no secret that she didn't want her brother Alex to get married to Hilary, but then his ex-wife is still alive and well, indicating that Alice wouldn't be prepared to go to such murderous extremes in preventing Alex from getting hitched. Only Meg knows what really happened, and out of loyalty to her late friend, she's not letting on.

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