Lord Peter and Bunter drive into a ditch in the Fens. They are rescued by the vicar of Fenchurch St. Pauls, whereupon we meet Peter's previously unsuspected bell-ringing skills. This pastoral idyll is disturbed, however, by the discovery of a faceless, handless corpse in the churchyard. With almost no means of identification, even Lord Peter is pushed to discover the identity of the corpse and its murderer, but the ending to this is both a witty twist on whodunnit convention, and a genuinely moving paean to English village life.
The Peter Wimsey revealed by this quaint setting and the proximity of the clergy is a pleasant antidote to the aristocratic fool and hopeless lover we so often see. Out of the city, his charm is less forced, his wit less studied, his intellect at once more obvious and less overt. No Harriet Vane either (hurrah), just the inimitable Mr Bunter, a lot of books and a murder. What more could anyone want?