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Chief Superintendent Wycliffe doubted whether he would enjoy his Christmas. With his wife away, he rashly accepted an invitation to stay with a Penzance lawyer and his family, but when he arrives the weather is awful, the house miles from anywhere, and the family less than welcoming. Then a young girl goes missing. Wycliffe had seen her playing the part of the Virgin in the local nativity play, but when he asks around he discovers the girl was difficult and unpopular in the neighbourhood. Even her parents seem indifferent to their daughter's disappearance. So Wycliffe instigates a search - and soon finds himself caught up in a major criminal investigation ...
W.J. Burley lived near Newquay in Cornwall, and was a schoolmaster until he retired to concentrate on his writing. His many Wycliffe books include, most recently, Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine. He died in 2002.