It is late summer in Hampshirem and former headmistress, Harriet Quigley, is enjoying life. Her cousin Sam is moving next door and the only cloud on the horizon is village gossip about a man who disappeared months earlier, and a more recent near-fatal accident. Suddenly it's all going pear-shaped - and sensible, practical Harriet has only herself to blame. Sam has warned her not to play at being Miss Marple but despite her cousin's strictures Harriet is suspicious about several newcomers and she's been asking discreet questions. There's an enigmatic artist, a good-looking vicar, a handsome Texan, a millionaire orchid-fancier, and Elvis, the plumber. To cap it all someone's seen the family ghost and only her young cousin Edith takes Harriet's anxieties seriously. With a sudden death in Winchester Cathedral, a treasure hunt that attracts unwelcome attentions, and history that looms uncomfortably close, Harriet finds herself trapped somewhere very nasty - and she's not alone.