The Cornish riverside village of Moresk is home to some quietly skewed characters, among them twin sisters Kathy and Jessica Dobell--Kathy is married to prosperous contractor Abe Geach; Jessica is running the worn-out farm left by their parents and eking out her bare living with cleaning chores at the town church. One early morning she's found there by Vicar Michael Jordan, clubbed to death, her body ritualistically posed at the foot of a religious statue. Detective Chief Superintendent Charles Wycliffe (Wycliffe and the Dead Flautist, etc.) gets the case, with teammates Doug Kersey and Lucy Lane. Setting up headquarters in an old schoolhouse, the three begin an exploration of Jessica's life, which included many sexual partners. One of them was Laurence Vintner, a failed teacher who, with his wife and teenaged son, helped work Jessica's farm in return for their keep. There's also disfigured scientist Brian Lavin, living on a houseboat with a slightly retarded young male companion. The list extends to Jessica's brother-in-law and others. Anonymous letters, an old, unsolved hit-and-run fatality, and a second murder muddy the waters, but Wycliffe's intuitive sleuthing will finally come through. Rather slow-paced, talky, but nicely atmospheric police procedural.