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When Lady Prettyman is found dead at a bridge holiday in Italy, gay partners Mark and John set about becoming (very) amateur detectives; as they muddle through, they begin to discover the secret lives of their apparently innocuous fellow bridge players. Their search takes them to very different venues: a gingerbread house, a remote Welsh farm, a strange taxidermy, a dodgy prep school, and a house with echoes of ‘Hamlet’, to name just a few. More deaths and sinister events occur: there are poisoned chocolates, a garden full of belladonna, and a terrifying parrot. Suspects multiply and as Mark and John struggle to make sense of it all, their results and failures seem to mirror the ups and downs in their own partnership. Will they manage to solve the mystery and maintain their relationship?
‘Dear Absent Friends’ is a delicious romp through the extraordinary lives of apparently normal people.