Dr. Paula Glenning, English Lit. Lecturer at London University, is again an un-charismatic heroine (Last Seen In London) in a lackluster story. Spending a country weekend with one-time teacher, longtime friend Frances Coles, she is soon involved in a multitude of emotional problems centering on Merle House, where crippled Lady Hindon hosts a weekly creative-writing class--and creates as much mischief as she can amongst the participants. Class leader Frances, out of action in a trumped-up accident, gets Paula to sub--which is Paula's introduction to white-haired dance-writer Ernest Brooker; hearty Gloria Alexander; her waspish companion Jill Freebody; retired minister Rupert Fisher; subservient Melanie King, and Bruce Wiley, Lady Hindon's all-purpose attendant. In the course of her extended weekend, Paula learns more than we want to know about all of them, friend Frances included. The ""accidental"" death of Gloria is followed by those of Lady Hindon and gardener Terry Carson. Meanwhile, Paula's floundering detection and the flat denouement only deepen the reader's ennui. Flabbily plotted, overwritten, without a frisson of vitality of conviction.