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The Shell House by Jane Thynne, Fourth Estate, £6.99, 282pp

The Shell House by Jane Thynne, Fourth Estate, £6.99, 282pp

AT THE height of summer, Jessica Leigh, Westminster lobbyist, arranges a short break at Fallings, the country seat of the late Sir Lewis Appleby, a pioneering geneticist. Her boyfriend, Stephen, is hosting a conference there, and Jessica has time to wander the grounds and learn about the history - more particularly the romantic history - of its one-time owner. Her investigations take her back to pre-war Berlin, bias-cut evening dresses and Ribbentrop flunkies. Mary Wesley with a harder edge.

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