A murder at an artists' colony - but not everyone wants Chief Superintendent Wycliffe to investigate . . .
The artists' colony is at the site of a disused mine working on the moor west of St Ives, and it's run by Archer and his wife Lina, according to astrological principles. The newest member of the colony is Francine, a beautiful if fey young woman with a legacy to invest. Archer isn't keen - not least because she is a Scorpio - but Lina takes a more pragmatic view.
Then Francine is found dead, killed by a deliberately blocked gas-heater flue.
Wycliffe investigates - and soon discovers that several members of the colony have very good reasons for not wanting the police poking into their affairs . . .
W.J. Burley lived near Newquay in Cornwall, and was a schoolmaster until he retired to concentrate on his writing. His many Wycliffe novels were extremely popular and were adapted for a highly successful TV series starring Jack Shepherd. W.J. Burley died in 2002.