Following an acrimonious split from her husband, Helen Pascoe moves her three children from London to Trenoon, a lovely old house in a rural part of Cornwall, inherited by Helen some years earlier. The whole family soon settles down to its new life near Falmouth, feeling comfortable and happy there, when suddenly the local maritime community around them is stunned by a murder in their midst. A young man is found stabbed and propped up against an ancient standing stone at the crossroads of two narrow lanes overlooking the water, a place where legend says a gibbet once stood. It is DCI Channon's territory, and when he investigates he finds that the victim is connected to all the Pascoes, including the absent father, as well as to other residents of what was once a humble fishing village but which now includes out-of-towners with considerable wealth. The ramifications of the murder affect everybody; rumour and suspicion are rife, and Channon, aided by the abrasive Sergeant Bowles, find that the murder at the crossroads is one of his most difficult cases. Praise for Olive Etchells: 'The most unnerving crimes of violence are the ones that tear apart small, tightly-knit communities...and Etchells demonstrates this awful process of disintergration' - "New York Times Book Review".
'Etchells' smoothly written police procedural features an intuitive and sensitive hero, Detective Chief Inspector Channon...(his) compassion for the families of the victims, as well as his ability to synthesise information, leaves the reader eager to see more of him' - "Publishers Weekly". 'A quiet but suspenseful village mystery' - "Booklist".
Olive Etchells was born and raised in industrial Lancashire. She married not the boy next door but the boy from the next street and they moved to Gloucestershire, where she still lives. Olive has three sons and eight grandchildren. Devil at the Crossroads is the third in her Cornish crime series. Her previous two, No Corners for the Devil and Footprints of the Devil are also published by Constable.