The author's lawyer-sleuth Rosa Epton (Death in Camera, etc., etc.) didn't like smug, womanizing client Philip Atherly, whom she got off on a minor drug charge, but his murder some time later was a surprise. So was the fact that he seemed to have expected it and had left money and instructions for her to investigate if he met with foul play. Atherly had been fired three years before from Easter House School, a boy's high school in Oakley, and was found shot to death in the summerhouse there by Sally Brigstock, the headmaster's flighty, much younger wife whose affair with Atherly had caused his dismissal. In the meantime, the recent hit-and-run death of 12-year-old student Jason Cutler, out at night for a still-unknown reason, and police suspicion of Richard Brigstock and his wife in Atherly's death produce wild speculation in the vilage--as Rosa and boyfriend Peter Chen find when they start nosing around. Rosa also feels that the odd disappearance of 18-year-old Trina Forbes is tied to the other events. There are plenty of suspects in Oakley--from the local publican to Colonel Hugo Fox, whose young daughter Atherly had seduced, to Jason's older brother Toby; but it's Sally Brigstock who's finally arrested--and Rosa who gets her off the hook with an intuitive leap to the real killer. Quiet, leisurely, slightly unfocused and mildly absorbing, this is typical but not top-grade Underwood.