Detective Inspector Thomas "Tommy" Lynley, 8th Earl of Asherton and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers are with New Scotland Yard.
The Inspector Lynley mysteries have been adapted for many made-for-television movies.
Deborah and Simon St. James have taken a holiday in the winter landscape of Lancashire, hoping to heal the growing rift in their marriage. But in the barren countryside awaits bleak news: the vicar of Winslough, the man they had come to see, is dead - a victim of accidental poisoning. Unsatisfied with the inquest ruling and unsettled by the close association between the investigating constable and the woman who served the deadly meal, Simon calls in his old friend Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley. Together they uncover dark, complex relationships in this rural village, relationships that bring men and women together with passion, with grief, or with the intention to kill.