Evil doings at a Sussex vicarage--in a somewhat more traditional mystery than Clarke's previous experiments with literary/period crime or psychological suspense. The first death is that of Maureen Myrtle--from cancer; but Maureen's mean-spirited son Clive Bradley suspects that Maureen's end was hastened by her second husband, rich and famous and much-wed writer Reginald (with help, perhaps, from Dr. Ian Jephcott and/or nurse Felicity Westbrook). Furthermore, Clive bitterly learns from Maureen's posthumous letter who his real father is: the local vicar, Rev. Nevil Grey--widower, onetime actor, and father of beautiful, spirited Angels. And when Reginald (always envious of the vicar) learns this secret, he plans on publicly discrediting Nevil--until he's downed by a heart attack and poison (in the sacramental wine administered with the last rites!). Enter, then: Sergeant Curtis, who, with Nevil's help, pins down the poisoner--while Clive grows up, Angela settles down, and the likable vicar faces his life's biggest decision. Painless and amiable, but unfocused and a bit uncertain in tone--a passable variation for the murder-at-the-vicarage readership.