Ursula Gretton has two problems: She can't seem to convince her archaeology partner, Dan Woollard, that their affair is over, and she can't seem to locate Dan's wife, Natalie, who has disappeared. While Ursula never succeeds in persuading Dan that she's finished with him, Natalie does turn up--dead, not far from the site where Dan, Ursula, and their team are digging for the remains of Wulfric the Saxon. Enter Ursula's friend, Meridith Mitchell, Foreign Service consul and occasional love interest of Chief Inspector Alan Markby, in whose Cotswold jurisdiction the body is found. With great enthusiasm, Meridith involves herself in the investigation, and with somewhat less enthusiasm she involves herself once more with Alan. When another body turns up at the excavation, the hunt for the killer becomes more urgent than the archaeologists' hunt for Wulfric. Alan interrogates a number of likely suspects, including the sour, hyperreligious landowner Lionel Felston, Lionel's reticent nephew, Brian, and a band of New Age travelers who have been camping near the site. In the interstices of the investigation, Meridith and Alan pursue their uninspiring romance (``Their eyes met across the gnawed pizza crusts''). This latest in a series (Murder Among Us, 1993, etc.) has some nice twists, but alas, it moves with the speed of an archaeological excavation: painfully slow.