Shillingham C.I.D.'s low-keyed, intuitive Chief Inspector David Webb (A Shroud for Delilah, etc.) is spending weekends in Honeyford with girlfriend Hannah James while she house-sits for a friend on holiday. One of schoolmistress Hannah's students is Faye Walker, a granddaughter of the close-knit Walker family of Honeyford, makers of world-renowned porcelain. Matriarch Dorothy is still active in the business, along with sons Neville and Howard, while artist son Robin designs for the firm. At 40, he's soon to marry TV newswoman Eleanor Darby. But an unpleasant scene at the 18th birthday party of Neville's son Gavin is an omen of far worse to come. Two days later, Dorothy Walker is found bludgeoned to death in her drawing room, and Webb takes charge of the investigation. There's still more shocking news in store for the family, climaxed by a second murder. But it's not until Webb finds the reason for the breakup of Faye's blossoming romance with neighbor Clive Ten-by and reexamines alibis in minute detail that he closes in on the killer--which puts Webb some distance behind the reader. A fresh and convincing plot, with its horrors underlined by the cool reserve of most of the characters. Quite, literate, competent, but just this side of compelling.