Some surprises await retired tax inspector G.D.H. Pringle (Murder in Close-up, etc.) when he decides to explore his roots in the village of Wuffinge Parva, fueled by the vague notion of moving out of London with his down-to-earth mistress Mavis Bignell. Pringle finds his granny's cottage gone; lots of new so-called villas; the decrepit Saxon church in the throes of a monster festival celebrating the restoration of its ancient wall paintings; and, heading back to his hotel after a vinous dinner with new-found friends Ted and Felicity Brown, he discovers the strangled corpse of Doris Leveret--a corpse that has disappeared by the time he returns with the local police. There's more, much more, as scandals are uncovered and new incidents arise--lightened by satiric glances at gentrification and at Doris's bossy, ecology-mad social rival Miranda Kenny. Mavis (never as endearing as Pringle and the author find her) is in at the finish of a story that starts well but loses its way in a jumble of fussy overplotting.