Mrs. Mellanby is beginning to feel like she is getting old. It is partly the house – her big Edwardian family home was too much for one person. But it’s her dearly loved garden that is breaking her heart, as it gradually becomes a burden, and she cannot bear to see it become neglected.
Sadly, but sensibly, she faces the facts and decides the time has come to sell up. A property developer who would put up a useful block of maisonettes seems an excellent prospective buyer and it’s not as if there aren’t flats in the road already. But Mrs. Mellanby has reckoned without the local Residents Protection Society and the virulence of their opposition. Her astonishment gives way first to pain and, ultimately, to terror as the victimisation increases and she feels in danger of losing her sanity – if not her life.
Josephine Bell builds up the tension in a small South Coast resort with a masterly hand.