Having extricated himself from the embarrassment of murdering his lady parishioner, the Rev. Oughterard is now plunged into the traumas of art theft. Forced by the shady Nicholas Ingaza into being a fence for stolen paintings, he endures the investigative probings of terrifying female novelist and amateur sleuth, Maud Tubbly Pole, hell-bent on portraying him in her next novel. Haunted by the recent murder and fearful of exposure in his new role of 'receiver', the Reverend blunders haplessly in a mesh of intrigue and risible deceit. As before, his antics are commented upon by his cat, the acidic Maurice, and redoubtable bone-grinding ally, the dog Bouncer.