Here's a familiar story: Wealthy patriarch plans heroic folly--this time, a reconstructed 1870s village in Longmeadow, N.Y.--whereupon key family member, vociferously opposed, enlists aid from reasonable outsider in talking the old man out of it. The outsider this time is architectural historian Winston Wyc (in a hardover debut), who, despite his previous experience as an amateur detective, still has the innocence to profess surprise when the Old Wicket, Clement Corbally Sr., is found dead at the height of a Corbally garden party. The suspects include not only feuding brothers Sackett (Winston's client, a self-styled Episcopal priest who's still studying divinity) and Clement Jr. (an artist and croquet player dubbed ``Inclement'' by his loving brother), but their down-to-earth sister, their eccentric uncle, and a pair of TV historians the Old Wicket was bent on bringing into the project. The high point is a second murder during a croquet match. If that prospect sets your pulse pounding, here's the book for you. Typically bland Hudson Valley fare, illustrated with eight line drawings of architectural details (a newel post, a fireplace, etc.), which, come to think of it, may be the real high point.