The residents of Bloxham Drive were accustomed to acts of minor vandalism and the odd spot of joy-riding—but they were unprepared for cold-blooded murder... Summoned to Number 17, Chief Inspector E. Morse discovers the body of a young woman, Rachel Jones—shot through her kitchen window at point-blank range. Unfortunately, few of the shocked residents can be particularly helpful about what they saw or heard that fateful morning. Not even Rachel’s immediate neighbour, newspaper reporter Geoffrey Owens, who finds a major scoop on his doorstep. But the discovery of a cryptic ‘seventeenth-century’ love poem and a photograph of Rachel with a mystery grey-haired man is enough to set Morse on the trail... It is a trail that leads him to Lonsdale College, where the contrast between Julian Storrs and Dr Denis Cornford for the coveted position of Master is in progress.