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Oxford, England.A shot rings out in the early morning on Bloxham Drive. A young woman is murdered while having breakfast in her apartment.
At nearby Lonsdale College, the peaceful quadrangle seems insulated from the everyday realities of the entire outside world, let alone this recent murder.Yet Lonsdale is not as tranquil as it appears.The Master of the college is about to retire, and two senior dons, Denis Cornford and Julian Storrs, are discreetly competingto succeed him. Meanwhile, their wives are involved in a more openly venomous competition of their own.
For Chief Inspector Morse and his partner, Sergeant Lewis, the murder investigation leads to a tabloid journalist, to the strip clubs of Soho, and, eventually, back to the university. A disturbing question rises to the surface:Is the Mastership of Lonsdale worth killing for?