A ninth excursion into England's Cornwall, where the tiny Order of the Sisters of Compassion struggles to make ends meet and the Order's Sister Joan keeps getting involved in local police concerns (A Vow of Poverty, 1996, etc.). Walking one day into the empty schoolhouse on the moors where she'd once taught, Sister Joan finds the body of a man--his pockets empty of any identification. She calls the police station from a nearby dwelling where the friendly Mrs. Rufus keeps house for antiques dealer Michael Peter. The coroner pronounces the stranger's death a heart attack, and the case is closed. Meanwhile, Sister Joan has been approached by Caroline Hayes, a distraught young woman looking for her sister Crystal, recently married to Michael Peter. She and her invalid father were not invited to the wedding and haven't heard from Crystal in two months. Sister Joan, in conversation with Mrs. Rufus, was told that Crystal and her family were traveling on the Continent, an account confirmed by Michael Peter when Sister Joan visits his shop in town. In another foray to the Peter residence, Sister Joan uncovers hidden identification papers carrying the name of Crystal's father, purported by Caroline to be in the hospital. A robbery at Peter's house; Caroline's disappearance; a suitcase full of women's clothing found on a railway embankment; and a seemingly senseless murder lead our heroine to the bizarre scene where the even more bizarre answers to her questions are to be found. An exasperating jumble of convent routine, mini-sermons, contrivance, and coincidence. Strictly for Sister Joan's faithful fans.