When Meredith Mitchell bumps into her old schoolfriend Rachel Hunter at the Chelsea Flower Show it doesn't take Meredith long to realise that she and the effortlessly self-confident blonde have even less in common now than they had as teenagers. Apart from one thing - Meredith's companion, Chief Inspector Markby. For to the embarrassment of all concerned, except of course the self-possessed Rachel, Meredith's old schoolfriend turns out to have been Markby's former wife, from whom he was divorced years before in less than friendly circumstances. The meeting with Rachel is not the only surprise the Flower Show has in store for Markby - before the afternoon is out he has a death on his hands. All too quickly he and Meredith find themselves drawn into the plush, apparently well-run world Rachel and her second husband created for themselves in their Cotswold home, Malefis Abbey, a world which Markby becomes increasingly convinced harbours a highly skilled murderer ...