When Master Stephen Graham of St. Crispin's Church journeys from London to Chelmsford to implore Elizabethan clothier/constable Matthew Stock and his plucky wife Joan to return with him to put to rest a ""seeming miracle""--the resurrection of a year-dead Jesuit--he suggests that Sir Robert Cecil, the Stocks' mentor/patron, is urging their compliance. Upon their arrival, however, the real Master Graham is found murdered in his belfry, and Matthew is imprisoned for the crime. With one or two of Joan's famous ""glimmerings"" and several wily deductions from Matthew, the pair piece together a plot to discredit Sir Robert by setting Papists and Puritans against one another, but before all is set to rights they must survive torture, an abduction, a sea wreck, arson, and duplicity in the church as well as in Sir Robert's own household. Less atmospheric than previous Stock outings (Knaves Templar, 1991, etc.) and somewhat diminished by too many meaningful dreams, plus that old chestnut--diary entries--to tie up loose ends. But both Sir Robert and Joan are better delineated here: Could it be that they will soon command a book to themselves?