Dame Lettie Colston
Dame Lettie Colston, an elderly pioneer penal reformer and Godfrey Colston’s sister. She resents the caregiving she and Godfrey must provide for Godfrey’s wife, Charmian. Recently, Dame Lettie has begun to receive phone calls from an anonymous man who tells her, “Remember, you must die.” The police can find no leads. She becomes increasingly agitated, fearful, and even obsessed. At the home of retired police inspector Henry Mortimer, she meets with others who have received similar calls, but nothing is settled. Dame Lettie remains terrified and refuses to leave her house. Through a bizarre series of circumstances, someone breaks into her house, steals jewelry, and bludgeons Dame Lettie to death when she confronts him.
Godfrey Colston, a former chairman of Colston Breweries and Dame Lettie’s brother. Many years ago, he had an affair with Lisa Brooke. His wife, Charmian, is recovering from a stroke. His housekeeper, Mrs. Pettigrew, blackmails him when she uncovers the secret of his affair. When he learns that Charmian also carried on an affair, he no longer fears Mrs. Pettigrew’s threats.
Charmian Colston, Godfrey’s wife. She is a famous novelist (also known as Charmian Piper) now suffering episodes of dementia after a stroke. For several years after her marriage to Godfrey, she carried on an affair with Guy Leet. As the story progresses, her mental capacity is restored. She decides to move to a nursing home rather than stay with Godfrey.
Jean Taylor, a companion for many years to Charmian. She enjoyed her years with Charmian, surrounded by a rich cultural and aesthetic life. Now Jean is one of the twelve residents in Maud Long Medical Ward, a long-term care facility. Jean suffers from the advanced stages of arthritis, but she...
(The entire section is 781 words.)