Botanist-sleuth Peter Shandy (An Owl Too Many, etc.) is staying at Bright's Inn, a landmark in the Maine coastal village of Pickwance, while he visits the famed lupines of elderly retired teacher Frances Rondel. This peaceful mission is interrupted, though, by the sudden death of despised local con man Jasper Flodge, who collapses into his chicken potpie one night in the Inn's dining room, dead of cyanide poisoning. As days pass, the restaurant becomes a backdrop for drama--explosive outbursts from Flodge's estranged widow Lucivee; the tender reunion of Fred Wye with wife Iolanthe, separated for three years by one of Flodge's nastier scams--all of it endlessly and boringly commented on by the Inn's resident busybody, Claridge Withington. It takes a second killing and a flood of casual gossip before sharp-eared Shandy, now joined by wife Helen, figures it all out. A bizarre puzzle fueled by bizarre characters in the comfy downhome ambiance so well done by MacLeod. Her legion of fans will love it.