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The wealthy and reclusive Harry Quirke, misanthropist and student of the piano works of Alkan, is stabbed to death in his country house outside Tadcaster. Only one of the obvious suspects seems to have much of a motive: his alibi is shaky, it is true, but there is no proof of his involvement. DI Moat and his assistant DS Stockwell follow one false lead after another in an exasperating investigation that seems to be getting nowhere: a gypsy caravan, an old murder in Kansas, the hurried will of a dying man, a golf-course green and an unfinished catalogue of Alkan’s works – none of it seems to make sense. Finally, the murderer makes the smallest of slips, and the penny drops - but it’s a close thing!

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