Thea Osborne is thanking her lucky stars. After two disastrous housesitting incidents in which she unwittingly became embroiled in murder and mayhem, she is only too happy to have a bit of time to concentrate on her blossoming releationship with DI Phil Hollis. The couple has retreated to Phil's late aunt's cottage in Cold Aston, and other than the odd interruption from his childhood acquaintance, the eccentric Ariadne, they look forward to some peace and quiet.But the bad luck that plagues the hapless Thea and her beloved spaniel Hepzibah is never far away. With autumn drawing in, preparations for Samhain, the pagan origin of Halloween, are well underway when Ariadne discovers a very tangible reminder of the season of death: a body laid out like a sacrificial victim on Notgrove Barrow.It soon becomes apparent that the cosy village has more than its share of secrets. But just how far will some go to keep them hidden?