Also by Louise Penny and available from Headline

Still Life

Dead Cold



Louise Penny

Copyright © 2007 Louise Penny

The right of Louise Penny to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

From Sarah Binks by Paul Hiebert. © 1947 Oxford University Press Canada.

Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

‘Half-Hanged Mary’ from Morning In The Burned House © Margaret Atwood 1995 reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Ltd, London.

Extract from ‘Epilogue’ by permission of The Society of Authors, representative of the estate of John Masefield.

Excerpt from ‘The Second Coming’ by W. B. Yeats used by kind permission of AP Watt Ltd on behalf of Michael B Yeats.

First published in 2007 by



Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing of the publishers or, in the case of reprographic production, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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For my brother Rob and his wonderful family,

Audi, Kim, Adam and Sarah, with love


Kneeling in the fragrant moist grass of the village green Clara Morrow carefully hid the Easter egg and thought about raising the dead, which she planned to do right after supper. Wiping a strand of hair from her face, she smeared bits of grass, mud and some other brown stuff that might not be mud into her tangled hair. All around, villagers wandered with their baskets of brightly colored eggs, looking for the perfect hiding places. Ruth Zardo sat on the bench in the middle of the green tossing the eggs at random, though occasionally she’d haul off and peg someone in the back of the head or on the bottom. She had disconcertingly good aim for someone so old and so nuts, thought Clara.

‘You going tonight?’ Clara asked, trying to distract the old poet from taking aim at Monsieur Beliveau.

‘Are you kidding? Live people are bad enough; why would I want to bring one back from the dead?’

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