Chief-Inspector Lloyd and his longtime mistress, Detective-Sergeant Judy Hill (A Perfect Match, etc.), of Stansfield's police force, are trying to solve a murder at a nearby boys' academy while they attempt to sort out their personal dilemma. The victim at the private school is Diana Hamlyn, the much younger wife of teacher Robert, who was found raped and bludgeoned to death on a playing field not long after leaving a school dance to take up her dormitory supervisory duties. Her well-deserved reputation as a nymphomaniac muddles the investigation, especially since Lloyd and Hill soon find they're dealing with some real oddballs--alcoholic headmaster Barry Treadwell; foulmouthed, foultempered art teacher Sam Waters; self-pitying English teacher Philip Newby, half-crippled by an auto crash in which his friend Andrew Knight died. Caroline, Knight's widow, still teaches at the school and is being pursued by Waters but is much attracted to Newby. Even head-boy Matthew Cawston, a seeming paragon, is up to strange tricks. In the meantime, there are lots of tedious alibi tracking; lots of red herrings; psychological explorations ad infinitum; a suicide; a couple of false arrests and, finally, the obvious solution. Stylishly written and insightful, but too densely textured and overextended. Worthwhile but wearying.