The protagonist of the story is Mary Maloney, a peaceful housewife, married and pregnant to a policeman, Patrick Maloney.
Her gentle acceptance of her ordinary life changes when her husband announces that the marriage is over, but that she will need to keep quiet about the separation for the sake of his job. He shows no compassion for her emotional reaction, nor for the fact that she is pregnant with their child.
She kills her husband in a moment of dissociation – clubbing him with a frozen leg of lamb. It is her primitive desire to survive and protect her child which causes her to coolly plan her alibi and to cover her crime, unwittingly abetted by her husband’s colleagues. She indeed keeps any scandal from emerging, although the information she hides is not quite what her husband had envisaged.
Mary Maloney- a lady who kills her husband with a leg of lamb after he tells her some bad news. She has to cover up her tracks and when the police come to investigate the crime she feeds them her weapon, the leg of lamb.