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Sheep’s Clothing

Celia Dale
Date Published
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From the Queen of the suburban terror story and the author whom Ruth Rendell described as ‘quiet, clever and subtle’ comes a tale of confidence tricksters and menace.

In Sheep’s Clothing Celia Dale explores the life of lonely elderly ladies. Behind their heavily bolted doors they are surrounded by the treasures that they’ve collected over the years, which makes them necessarily wary of strangers and cautious of allowing people into their sanctuaries, for fear that their hidden savings could fall prey to unscrupulous people.

When two charming and friendly women from the social services knock on their door there’s no harm in letting them in, is there? After all, such lovely women only want to help them and it is nice to have some visitors for a change. What harm can it do to have a chat and a cup of tea?

Sheep’s Clothing dissects the little cruelties of life and is a reminder, as Matthew Coady wrote in the Guardian, ‘that we are all victims of each other’. It is a sinister and beautifully crafted depiction of the horror that can lurk beneath even the most respectable façades.


Born to parents who were both on the stage (her father was the actor James Dale), Celia Dale’s first novel, The Least of These, was published in 1943 and she went on to write ten others. She won the Crime Writer’s Association Veuve Clicquot Short Story award for Lines of Communication and A Personal Call and other stories in 1986…

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