The disappearance of Sir Julius Hanbury - and the theft of several of his erotic paintings - provide a new puzzle for Morse to solve. Assisted by DS Lewis, Morse interviews everyone at Hanbury House and it is in the course of searching the grounds that he finds Sir Julius' body, appropriately enough, in the family mausoleum. The pathologist notes that he was the victim of a frenzied attack but the lack of blood at scene leaves the police to conclude that he murdered elsewhere. Sir Julius was a candidate to become the Master of an Oxford college and was known to have a have had a bitter rivalry with another candidate for the position. When Roger Meadows, a friend of the Hanbury's au pair, is killed in a car accident, Morse concludes that that he too was murdered. Jealousy, revenge and greed all play part in the deaths.