Her third novel, The Sirens Sang of Murder, is in the same vein as its predecessors: witty, elegant, and cleverly structured. It's also surprisingly topical, given that the storyline deals with tax avoidance schemes and offshore tax havens. Long before the Panama Papers caused such a furore, Sarah was having fun with tax dodgers. And, as a tax barrister, she no doubt came across quite a few of them in real life.
Again the narrator is Professor Hilary Tamar, and again Hilary's barrister friends, notably Julia Larwood and Michael Cantrip, are at the heart of the story. And, once more, Caudwell uses the epistolary style to relate much of the information about the plot. The key setting is Sark, a fascinating Channel Island where no conventional cars are allowed (though when I went there, tractors were remarkably common as an alternative form of transport). The narrow pathway connecting the main island with Little Sark is crucial to the plot.
Someone asked us at the panel whether it was likely that Sarah visited Sark to research it. I feel sure she did the descriptions seem authentic to me. But although the setting is fascinating, it's the writing and the storyline that really command attention. The characters are delightful, even if they are not presented in depth. At Malice, I asked the audience whether they thought of Hilary as a man or a woman. Opinion was divided, though it seems to me that Hilary is slightly more like a man than a woman. Sarah, often asked the question, claimed not to know. This is a highly entertaining novel by a writer who should not be forgotten.