Salchurch, a tiny provincial English village, is about to host its annual spectacular Concerts Festival when there is a rough counterpoint to a smooth opening--concert architect Doyle Wantage is threatened by nasty Norris Turvey who is married to miserable Laura who is in love with blind Elor. And in the meantime Norris is having an affair with Wantage's ex-wife and Norris may or may not be the father of Wantage's fiance's child. Then Wantage drowns. . . as does the reader in a sea of red herrings and suspect suspects.