On the moor west of St. Ives, at the site of a disused mine, lies an artists' colony. Known as the Guild of Nine, it was set up by Archer, who runs it according to astrological principles, and his wife Lina, a woman with her feet rather more firmly on the ground.
The newest member, a beautiful young woman named Francine, has a legacy she wants to invest in the colony. Archer isn't sure--not least because she is a Scorpio; Lina, as always, takes a more pragmatic view. But then Francine is found dead in her bed, asphyxiated by a deliberately blocked gas heater.
Superintendent Wycliffe investigates and soon discovers that several members of the colony have good reasons for not wanting the police involved. Then, right under Wycliffe's nose, comes another death.
About the Author
W.J. Burley lived near Newquay in Cornwall, and was a schoolmaster until he retired to concentrate on his writing. His many Wycliffe books include, most recently, Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine. He died in 2002.
Web of claustrophobic relationships disentangled by smooth combination of police procedure and Wycliffian instinct . . . a rewarding read--Guardian