In the countryside, Inspector Cockrill investigates a wartime beheading.
As war rages in Europe, the citizens of London flee to the country. At Pigeonsford, a group of guests plays cards, drinks tea, and acts polite — but Grace Morland knows the strong emotions that lurk beneath the placid social surface. She’s painfully in love with Stephen Pendock, the squire of Pigeonsford, but Pendock’s smitten with young beauty Francesca Hart. One afternoon, Fran debuts a new hat, and Grace’s jealousy gets the better of her. She exclaims, “I wouldn’t be seen dead in a ditch in a thing like that!” She will soon be proven wrong.
Grace is found dead with the hat on her head — and her head removed from her neck. To the scene comes the incomparable Inspector Cockrill, who finds that far more than petty jealousy lies beneath this hideous murder.
Pigeonsford Estate is playing host to a group of close friends when one of their number, Grace Morland, is found dead in a ditch. The murder is made even more unusual by the fact that Grace was wearing her friend Francesca's hat, the same hat that only the day before she'd claimed she wouldn't be caught dead wearing.
Inspector Cockrill has known most of the friends since they were children. They are all from good families and very close to one another. how, then, could one of them be a cold-blooded killer? And if one of them had murdered Grace which one was it and why had they done it?
First published in 1941, Heads You Lose is a classic country house mystery that proves that in every friendship there are secrets, some of which are best left buried.