When introspective bookstore-owner James Marshall, of the seaside village of Linton, places an ad for a wife in the London Times personals, he's hoping to end three lonely years after the death of his beloved Angela. One of his responses is from ex-model Eve Harris, who would like to end a string of unsatisfying affairs and a boring job as an office temp. Coolly competent Brenda Newbury, whose only attachment seems to be to her brother Malcolm, is Eve's office confidante and worries when her co-worker fails to show at work after her planned rendezvous with Marshall. But when Eve's body surfaces on the coast near Linton, no one appears more shocked than Marshall, who has meanwhile met and fallen for widow Sally Graham, another respondent. He claims, in the face of evidence to the contrary, to have had a call canceling his dinner date with Eve Harris. This cuts no ice with the police, who promptly charge him with her murder. Even his friend and lawyer Harry and his sister Hilda have doubts about his innocence, but Sally has none and sets out to find the real killer--a quest that nearly ends her own life. Less wordy and more convincing than some of the author's past work (A Nice Little Business, etc.), this one has some well-drawn characters, pacing that lags only occasionally, and a neat spin on the well-worn wolf-in-sheep's-clothing gambit.