Neighbours wept and spoke of their horror at the launch of a murder probe after the discovery of a body on their quiet cul-de-sac.
Police found the body of a 55-year-old woman in a bungalow in the early hours.
Detectives have not confirmed her identity but neighbours named the woman as Val Walker, who lives there with her husband, Alan.
It is understood that Mrs Walker, a grandmother, had been ill for some time.
A 60-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Detectives carried out door to door inquiries in the cul-de-sac in Gladstone Road, Maltby, asking neighbours when they had last seen Mrs Walker.
Forensic experts in white suits examined the home inside to help them piece together the circumstances surrounding the death.
A post-mortem examination was inconclusive.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Police were called in the early hours of Monday to a house in Gladstone Road, Maltby, where the body of a 55-year-old woman was found.
“A 60-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
“Inquiries are ongoing.”
One neighbour said he saw Mrs Walker’s husband decorating the outside of their immaculate bungalow with Christmas lights on Sunday – hanging icicles from the eaves and placing lights in a tree outside.
Another neighbour Alan Holden, 76, said: “The first I knew that something serious had happened was when I saw police cars and then some officers came knocking at my door. It is really sad and a big shock.
“I had not seen Val for some time but I saw Alan hanging Christmas lights in his tree on Sunday.” Another neighbour said: “Val was lovely.”