When Emilyn Simpson is found dead in her house, DCI Barnaby's instincts all lead him to suspect murder. Although she was elderly and everyone seems to have liked her, it seem she may have seen something in the woods th...展开at she shouldn't have. There are numerous suspects: the local doctor who lies about his alibi, Iris Rainbird, the local busybody who seems to live beyond her means or her son Dennis, who is the local undertaker. Barnaby also receives information that a death the previous year may not have been an accident. When two other residents of Badger's Drift are murdered, Barnaby uncovers an illicit love affair that the protagonists must keep secret.