Retired botany professor Andrew Basnett (Smoke Without Fire, 1991, etc.), a bored widower, is pleased to accept an invitation from old friends Mollie and Ian Davidge to visit for a few days at their home in the village of Lower Milfrey. Andrew is soon aware, however, that the marriage is in trouble, with Mollie (Ian's second wife) drawn to biochemist Brian Singleton, whose major claim to fame is his brother Luke, a wildly successful novelist. Andrew also meets the Davidge's tenant Eleanor Clancy, an enthusiastic photographer and recently retired gym teacher. Ernest Audley, a lawyer whose ex-wife was seduced and then dropped by Luke Singleton, is another of the Davidges' friends. They're all present at a dinner party given by Anna (an old student of Eleanor's) and Sam Waldron, along with Dr. Felicity Mace and Inspector Roland, an old acquaintance of Andrew's. Before the evening ends Luke has died of cyanide poisoning, and within days Eleanor Clancy is dead, too--her pocketbook holds a thousand pounds gone; her cottage's been trashed. Inspector Roland is completely stymied, but Andrew, after hours of introspection, another tragedy, and some help from nephew Peter Dilly, comes up with motive and murderer that present a bizarre but just believable solution. Posthumously published (veteran Ferrars died last March), this is one of the author's better efforts, with every traditional element in place, and a denouement more imaginative than usual. Her fans will love it.