After six months in London, Agatha Raisin returns to her beloved Cotswold village - and to her attractive neighbor, James Lacey. True, James is less than thrilled to see her, but Agatha is soon consoled by a sensational homicide. The victim, found in a lonely field, is hiker Jessica Tartinck, who enraged wealthy landowners by insisting on her club's right to hike over their properties. Agatha lures James into helping with the investigation, and there are many leads to follow, for Jessica's fellow walkers seem able, even willing, to commit murder. But the trail of a slippery killer may also be the royal road to love - and death.