Dido loads baby Ben and his toys into the van and drives down to rural Somerset to spend a couple of restful weeks with a cousin.
Ally and her husband have moved there to keep an eye on his old parents who live in the local manor house where, four years ago, the family's youngest son shot and killed an intruder in the library. He is about to turn up after having served a term for manslaughter.
And there are all sorts of chickens coming home to roost.
The village turns out to be very different from St. Mary Mead (consider the drugs traffic in the village pub, for instance).
And what on earth has happened to Peter Rabbit?
Marianne Macdonald was born in Canada, moved to England in her twenties and never left.
She is a former university professor, actress and playwrite, and still is a children's author.
She is married to antiquarian bookseller Eric Korn and has two sons. She lives in North London with her husband and dogs, and travels extensively.