Otis Joy is a very good vicar - he attracts record-breaking congregations, is admired and respected by all, and the village of Foxford is delighted to have him. What the citizens of Foxford don't realise, though, is that their beloved parish priest is a murderer.
When the bishop gets suspicious of Joy's channelling of church funds into his own bank account, Joy kills him - after all, such a trifling misdemeanour should not prevent him from carrying out his duties. However, this isn't the first time he's despatched 'busy-bodies' and rumours are beginning to circulate. So when the husband of his new treasurer is found dead, perhaps he's taken one life too many . . .
Peter Lovesey amply demonstrates that he is the acknowledged master of the whodunnit in this deliciously complicated and satisfying mystery.