For Dorothea Cassidy, Thursdays were special. Every week she would look forward to the one day she could call her own, and would plan to visit people she wanted to see as a welcome respite from the routine duties that being a vicar's wife entailed. But one Thursday in June was to be more special than any other. It was the day that Dorothea Cassidy was strangled. As the small town of Otterbridge prepares for its summer carnival, Inspector Stephen Ramsay begins a painstaking reconstruction of Dorothea's last hours. He soon discovers that she had taken on a number of deserving cases--a sick and lonely old woman, a disturbed adolescent, a compulsive gambler, a single mother with a violent boyfriend and a child in care--and even her close family have their secrets to hide. All these people are haunted, in one way or another, by Dorothea's goodness. But which of them could have possibly wanted her dead?