Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels is on leave, spending time in her small house in Windsor, musing about the activities of neighbor Winifred Eagle, who owns a nasty cat at odds with Charmian's Muff and who frequently hosts what appears to be a coven of ``white'' witches centered around Caprice Dash, owner of a health-food store in town. Occasionally seen at these meetings is Vivien Charles, a newcomer, younger than the others, whose body is found one day in her underfurnished apartment, stabbed to death and surrounded by symbols of black magic. Charmian, asked for help by Detective Sergeant Dolly Barstow, spends a lot of time investigating the local ladies, but not until a second murder--as well as some exploration of Vivien's life before her arrival in the Windsor area--does she hit on the right track. A surplus of cat-chat and the author's sometimes archly mannered style are minor irritations in a cleverly constructed story, replete with red herrings and ending with a touch of dazzle. Melville's best since Windsor Red (1988).