The denouement of this gothic tale set in contemporary rural England is such a tangled web that the final unraveling takes up approximately 30 earnest pages; however, it's neatly turned out with all that comfortable old house/old village ambiance. Janet deMaury, daughter of the deceased charismatic leader of a formerly influential utopian peace movement, is sent by Tony, her publisher-employer, to the manse of Sir Gideon Lightwood, husband of Janet's late cousin Rosemary, to sort out Father's papers. Gideon, head of a household which includes an ill young son, a lynx-eyed governess, and visiting brother, is less than welcoming. And then there's that most explicit note for Janet left in the night (""Why don't you leave now?""). Soon Janet--or is it her work with the papers?--seems to be the focus for the household's peculiar attentions. And how about boss Tony, who just drops in? Random violence, clues to an unsavory political scandal of the past, and a harsh new light on Rosemary's life and death are featured in the unwinding of this reliable rigamarole.