Another of Simpson's leisurely, well-crafted police procedurals featuring Inspector Luke Thanet and sidekick Mike Lineham, who are faced here with the murder of gifted artist Perdita Master, found dead on the kitchen floor of Vanessa Broxton's house, a plastic bag over her head. Perdita was in the midst of emotional turmoil--her widowed, remarried mother seriously ill; her own marriage to an insanely possessive husband on the rocks; her affair with neighbor Howard Swain just revealed to his assertive wife. Perdita had agreed to babysit Vanessa's children for a few days, but, as the detectives soon realize, everyone in her life seemed to have turned up at the Broxton house on the fateful night. In the end it's not the complex timetable but Thanet's intuition and thoughtful examination of the victim's troubling paintings and reclusive personality that lead to a well- reasoned if not totally surprising solution. A quietly absorbing addition to a reliable series.