Chief Inspector Morse of the Oxford Homicide Division is supposed to be on vacation and he's thinking about a trip to the Greek Isles. But then he stumbles onto a pair of mysterious deaths at a church in another division nearby. The local officials have already written off the deaths as a murder followed by the suicide of the perpetrator. They've closed the books on both deaths, but something seems odd to Morse and so he begins digging into the situation, even though he's on vacation and even though the detectives who originally investigated the case are not at all happy with his interference.
Morse recruits his faithful sergeant, Lewis, and manages to take over the investigation. It's an intriguing one in that the murder victim was a guy with a gambling problem who was also responsible for counting the collection plate every Sunday. His alleged murderer was the pastor of the church. There are adulterers running loose in the parish, a missing boy, a church organist who's disappeared, and a very attractive woman who scrubs the floors in the church.
Although a confirmed bachelor, Morse is a man with an eye for the ladies. He loves his classical music, his beer and his mysteries, and by the time he gets through sorting through this complicated situation, it could turn out to be the best vacation he's ever had. Either that or the last.
This is a very good book in one of my favorite British mystery series. Morse is a great, if prickly, protagonist, and this book should appeal to those who like an intelligent, complex mystery novel.