A third ramble through the village for Chief Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy (Murder at Madingley Grange, 1991; Death of a Hollow Man, 1989) giddily blends homage and satire in the goings-on at the Manor House in Compton Dando, where a wacko bunch of spiritualists/charlatans/disciples have taken up residence. An accidental fall kills off monkish Jim Carter and, months later, while Suhami's millionaire estranged dad Guy Gamelin and addicted mom Felicity are visiting, the Master himself is skewered with a kitchen knife during May's past-lives regression. Are the murders connected? Do they tie in with Suhami's birthday wish to cede her trust fund to the Master's plan--and his refusal of it? For Barnaby and Troy, sorting through interviews with healers, channelers, and their attendant mumbo-jumbo is not easy--nor is learning their pre- enlightenment felony-conviction surnames--and there will be a fatal heart seizure and a lethal poke with a crowbar before all the ends tie up and the angels guarding the signs of the zodiac, as well as the requirements of the vintage mystery, are so gloriously appeased. Wonderfully funny, with such solid, traditional underpinnings as good plotting, judiciously dropped clues, and a luminescent turn of phrase: a likely-to-be New Age classic.