A kitchen-sink sort of mystery from Smithies (The Shophlifter, 1968, etc.) containing, among other things, black-magic worshipers, an ancient--buried--treasure, a long-lost brother, a will with a Simultaneous Death Clause, a murder by crossbow, eccentric Aunt Edith, British Intelligence, and smart and sassy Charles and Anne Hamilton, who have recently settled in the quaint Housatonic River Valley community of Pendragon. Local legend maintains that the Spear of Longinus, a Cornwall relic, is buried in Pendragon. In the process of looking for it, Charles, Anne, and Benjy, a rich-kid-turned-hippie, meet suspicious bird-watchers Colonel Smith-Montecute and his Mildred; Viennese restauranteurs, the Teutonic Jenners; and, in the night, bump into an international black sorcerers' coven that also craves the Spear. Then Benjy's killed, and the flippant Charles and Anne are no longer so amused by their quest, though they'll carry on to the end, which includes a final dispatching of the Spear. Good-humored, preposterous flimflam.