Tony Beach

Grandson of a Colonel who won the Victoria Cross in the First World War and, as an amateur rider, came second in the Grand National; son of a Colonel who won the Distinguished Service Order in the Second World War, was a renowned amateur rider and was killed in a fall at Sandown Park in a steeplechase, watched by his son. Went to Wellington but not on to Sandhurst. Believed not to have inherited the family courage. He is a wine merchant who is in mourning for his wife Emma. She died in childbirth six months before. He misses her deeply, and is lonely and depressed. He has a talent for telling one wine or whisky from another simply by smelling and tasting them. His talent comes in very useful when a local restaurant owner appears to be passing off cheap wine and Scotch as expensive brands.