The Water Devil

Judith Merkle Riley

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You think you have in-law problems? They’re nothing compared to what Margaret has to contend with. Her sister-in-law is insane. Her father-in-law has decided to sell her 12-year-old daughter in marriage to collect the money. Her brother-in-law is only concerned that he is in the latest fashion, and her husband seems unable to protect Margaret from the worst of them, at least not while the latest poem is uncompleted.  With the help of her old friends Brother Malachi and Mother Hilde, she come up with a plan to save the family.

I can’t help thinking what a lovely television series these books would make. What with insane in-laws, spirits, ghosts and general hilarity interfering every turn she makes, Margaret simply wants to return to her quiet life in London and settle down as the mistress of her own peaceful home. Boring. Instead we get the benefit the discomfort and chaos surrounding her, until she is forced to take action. At least her husband values her steady common sense, even if her in-laws don’t.

This third of the trilogy wraps everything up nicely. For now. Who knows what further adventure would have lain in store for Margaret had Judith Merkle Riley lived to write them?

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