Keating, perhaps a mite tired of Bombay's Inspector Ghote, stays home in England this time--with a mystery-comedy (far stronger on the comedy than the mystery) that features the game of croquet in all its courtly, vicious glory. Humphrey Boddershaw, clownish headmaster of Ambrose House Preparatory School for Boys, is hosting his annual croquet match--with a few old friends and a few staff members--when news arrives that loony, assault-prone Bert Rogers, the school's former handyman, has escaped from prison. So, when Humphrey is soon (though not soon enough for those who like a brisk pace) found dead, clobbered with a croquet mallet, Bert is the obvious suspect. But, though Bert is indeed on the premises (hiding out with his housemaid-girlfriend), young teacher Ned Farran and Supt. Pinn start wondering if one of the croquet players might be the murderer: Cicely Ravell, for instance, an insulting battle-axe who seems a bit potty; or don Sebastian, who blames Humphrey for a long-ago, crippling accident; or industrialist Leonard, who blames Humphrey for some stockholder troubles he's having. The solution's no surprise, however--and some readers will find Keating's leisurely, discursive narrative somewhat slow going. Still, the repartee is charmingly dotty, the croquet detail is daffily intense, and the result is a thin but pleasantly dippy Anglophile-diversion.