As he drove his chief down to Kidlington, Lewis returned the conversation to where it had begun. 'You haven't told me what you think about this fellow Owens - the dead woman's next-door neighbour.' 'Death is always the next-door neighbour,' said Morse sombrely. The murder of a young woman . . . A cryptic 'seventeenth-century' love poem . . . And a photograph of a mystery grey-haired man . . . More than enough to set Chief Inspector E. Morse on the trail of a killer. And it's a trail that leads him to Lonsdale College, where the contest between Julian Storrs and Dr Denis Cornford for the coveted position of Master is hotting up. But then Morse faces a greater, far more personal crisis . . .