The adventures of researcher, sort-of-sleuth William Dougal (Caroline Minuscule) grow tamer as his once raunchy friends grow older and more respectable. A case in point is one-time murderer-con man James Hanbury, abruptly widowered after his month-old marriage to plain, rich Molly Burnham, a pillar of society in the cathedral city of Rosington, where James had gone to choir and prep schools. Molly's death was an accidental electrocution, but James hires William to rule out any other possibility, such as a murder aimed at him. What William slowly uncovers is a hushed-up, long-ago sex scandal involving James, Jon Stride, his cousin Charles Jermyn, and Alison Carrot, the wild daughter of one of the town's upstanding families. Alison has not been seen in Rosington for 20 years; Stride is now rich and a local political power; and Jermyn was murdered many years before, the case never solved. Now Alison's reappearance and her death days later push William to a confrontation with the killer. Too much domestic detail, but, still, a cleverly plotted, entertaining story.