DCI Harry Brock and DS Dave Poole discover that, far from being the reserved housewife she seemed, Diana was a fun-loving woman who made certain that the party developed into something closer to an orgy.
But Diana Barton's murder is not the only killing, and soon the complex enquiry stretches as far as Australia . . .
Detective Chief Inspector C.D. Sloan of the Calleshire CID is used to the occasional oddity in his relatively quiet part of the English countryside. But lately things have taken a strange turn. First, in the center of a yew maze that is the showpiece of the Tudor-era house, Aumerle Court, a body is spotted by Miss Daphne Pedlinge, the elderly chatelaine of the Court. By the time the groundskeeper actually makes it to the center, he, too, spies the body, and it is indeed dead.
Meanwhile, a few miles away, a slaughtered rabbit is left on the Bishop's doorstep in nearby Calleford, an omen as portentous as the body in the maze. Now Inspector Sloan, with the somewhat trying personage of Constable Crosby in tow, must uncover what precisely is going on as they launch an investigation with more twists and turns than the maze itself.
Pediatrician Kent Abner received the package on a beautiful April morning. Inside was a cheap trinket, a golden egg that could be opened into two halves. When he pried it apart, highly toxic airborne fumes entered his body—and killed him.
After Eve Dallas calls the hazmat team—and undergoes testing to reassure both her and her husband that she hasn’t been exposed—it’s time to look into Dr. Abner’s past and relationships. Not every victim Eve encounters is an angel, but it seems that Abner came pretty close—though he did ruffle some feathers over the years by taking stands for the weak and defenseless. While the lab tries to identify the deadly toxin, Eve hunts for the sender. But when someone else dies in the same grisly manner, it becomes clear that she’s dealing with either a madman—or someone who has a hidden and elusive connection to both victims.