This is an improvement over Williams' recent debut, Unholy Writ (p. 509), but his tart, Michael-Innes-like erudition is still subject to severe attacks of the cutes, the drolls, and the sillies. The scene is a respectable but down-and-out country College, tempted by unseemly funding offers from (a) the American Funny Farms Foundation--in the person of coarse Amelia Hatch, whose late husband wanted an agricultural program to immortalize his ""Funny Farms"" board-game, and (b) an Arab oil-king who needs a college where all the backward young princes can be sure of admission. The College's deliberations are interrupted by bomb scares, student demonstrations, anonymous warnings to Mrs. Hatch (sheep's head, etc.)--and, finally, the bloody murder of same. The neat solution, having nothing to do with the academic or Arabian brouhahas, is of the sort that Christie would have made chilling and moving. With Williams and his suave banker-sleuth Mark Treasure, however, it's chortle-chortle all the way--which will tickle the tolerantly Anglophilic and irritate just about everyone else.