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Lord Lislelivet has a talent for making enemies - so not even his wife is surprised when it emerges someone has tried to poison him. What is surprising is that the poison is discovered in a fruitcake made by the Handmaids of St Lucy of Monksbury Abbey. The powerful lord complains to his local bishop who asks Father Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former M!5 agent, to investigate. But the bishop has an additional concern: allegations have been made that the nuns have mishandled funds raised by wealthy Americans to expand their guesthouse. And now those irate patrons have descended on the abbey, along with Lord Lislelivet, to do some sleuthing of their own. And just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well.