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Tenant of Chesdene Manor

Diana Chalfont and her mother need to find a tenant for the Manor after Sir Peter's death. But mystery and intrigue follow when Mr Richmond takes up the lease.

The novel was first published by Robert Hale in 1974. It was published in the USA as Beloved Diana. Chenies in Buckinghamshire was the inspiration for Chesdene Manor. 

The novel was later published under the title of The Courting of Diana by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, as a paperback in the US and Canada.

Sir Peter Chalfont was a compulsive gambler, and on his death his widow and daughter Diana are left with very little to live upon. They even fear that they may be turned out of the small wing they occupy at Chesdene Manor in Buckinghamshire, home of the Chalfonts for generations. The property is entailed on the male line and has passed to a distant kinsman, Sidney Chalfont, whom Diana and her mother have never met.


Fortunately, the new baronet has no wish to occupy the sadly neglected house himself so he gives them permission to remain. He makes it clear that they can expect no further help from him, but does agree to allow them any income from Diana’s enterprising scheme to lease the unoccupied part of the Manor. Privately, he is convinced that they will never find a tenant.


But a tenant is found, and mysterious events follow. What is Mr Richmond’s interest in Chesdene Manor? Why does Sir Sidney suddenly seek to marry Diana? And why is her life threatened?


The answers to these questions lie among the tombstones in Chesdene graveyard.