In her latest Richard Jury adventure, Martha Grimes takes us to Ashdown Dean, a little English village where animals are dying in a series of seemingly innocuous accidents. While the puzzling deaths of village pets may raise some idle gossip over a pint or two at the Deer Leap, the village pub, this hardly seems a case for Superintendent Jury of Scotland yard. Nor does it seem much of a challenge for the combined deductive powers of Jury and Melrose, the affable former Earl of Caverness. It is his mystery-writing, amethyst-eyed friend, Polly Praed, who drags Plant and Jury to Ashdown Dean. The impatient Polly, having yanked open a call box in the pouring rain, is ill-prepared for what lands at her feet. The now-deadly case is cause for calling in Scotland Yard.