Sarah Hussain was not popular in the community of Kingsmarkham. She was born of mixed parents - a white Irishwoman and an immigrant Indian Hindu. She was also the Reverend of St Peter's church. But it came as a profound shock to everyone when she was found strangled in the vicarage.
A garrulous cleaner, Maxine, also shared by the Wexfords, discovers the body. In his retirement, the former Detective Chief Inspector is devoting much time to reading, and has little patience with Maxine's prattle. But when his old friend Mike Burden asks him to assist on the case as Crime Solutions Adviser (unpaid), Wexford is obliged to pay more precise attention.
Wexford retains a relish for work and a curiosity about people, which is invaluable in detective work; while Burden tends to jump to conclusions. But he is wise enough to listen to the man whose office he inherited, and whose experience makes him a formidable ally.