After the unsettling exploits in the Auvergne the vicar and his companions try to resume a life of moderate respectability. But the recent events cast a long shadow and they are soon in the grip of sinister repercussions. Who is the menacing blackmailer stalking the previous blackmailer and the bishop? Can the bishop survive the threat of being 'outed'? Why is there a body in the polyanthus bed and can Lavinia Birtle-Figgins really be as dippy as she seems? These and other imponderables immerse the Reverend Francis Oughterard in a fresh web of danger and subterfuge while his animal 'minders', Maurice and Bouncer, try their best to make sense of all this human bedlam.