For two-thirds of the book, obnoxious Evangelical minister Bob Dexter antagonizes his wife, daughter, new parishioners, animal- rights activists, and millionaire Noah Gates of the Gates of Heaven Printing Company, and then, finally, someone picks up part of an altar rail and dispatches him. Artist Lucy Kingsley and her solicitor lover David Middletown-Brown (A Drink of Deadly Wine) rush in to defend Father Stephen Thorncroft, whose prints were found on the murder weapon--and who may have been having an affair with Dexter's daughter. Among their findings: Lucy's ex-husband, art expert Geoffrey Pickering, was sniffing around the church treasures that Dexter was selling off; Gates had disowned his son after Dexter informed him that the lad was a homosexual; handsome Father Mark was having an affair with Dexter's daughter, not Stephen. While ten thousand faithful gather at Walsingham for their annual national pilgrimage, Lucy meets up with the killer, but, David arrives just in time. Wildly improbable character motivation, but vintage village mystery buffs will adore the prissy parish spinsters, the long- suffering vicar's wife and the fortuitously dropped bits of gossip that fuel the sluggish plot.