Professor Claire Lane interrupted by a sudden telephone call to help in a murder investigation leaves the tranquility of Edinburgh for the country lanes of Oxford.
Inspector Ralph McGinnis is puzzled. Unlike his colleague Miss Lane is adamant this is a copycat murder. Last seen in the seventeenth century by an overzealous Venetian statesman.
A well-known Australian financier is dead. Propped up in the Nativity scene outside the church.
The vicar is acting strangely, could he have been persuaded to preach peace and good will during this festive season, or will Claire work it out and find the real culprit.
It's a race to the finish line before Christmas Day dawns.