Thea Osborne hopes to spend a quiet Christmas house-sitting in the picturesque village of Stanton. Walks in the local countryside with the dogs are all the excitement she wants. Her arrival at the village coincides with the funeral of Douglas Callender and the murder of his girlfriend the following day.Thea finds herself thrust into the middle of another Police investigation as she unwraps motives and scandals across the village. The arrival of Drew Slocombe is the best present Thea could receive. Amid the bleak winter of Stanton and the murderous scandal, Thea is determined that she will survive the festive season.Thea s interest is stirred but the onset of flu looks to prevent any sleuthing. However, when two people show up brutally murdered the following afternoon, even when battling a fever Thea finds herself thrust into the middle of yet another Police investigation. With the Callendar family linked to most of the village Stanton is bursting with motives for the murders including jealousy, closures of footpaths and secret animal testing. Thea turns to local resident Dennis Ireland for safety but Dennis, as with the other villagers, may not be as safe as first appears and Thea wonders who she can trust to help her survive the festive season. "