Newly returned from investigating a murder in Monkslip-super-Mare, former M15 agent Max Tudor wants nothing more than to settle back into his predictable routine as vicar of St. Edwold’s Church in the village of Nether Monkslip. But the flow of his sermon on Bathsheba is interrupted when Lady Duxter is found dead after having made a suicide pact with her lover.
Lady Duxter’s husband rallies quickly from the double tragedy – too quickly, it is murmured in the village. Having already planned a writer’s retreat at his manor house, he insists the show must go on.
But when a young girl goes missing and a crime writer becomes a target, DCI Cotton asks Max to lend his MI5 expertise to the investigation.
Many suspects emerge as the scope of the investigation widens beyond the writers to villagers who have crossed swords with the insufferably smug crime author. Soon Max begins to wonder if the attack on the writer was part of a broader conspiracy….