Pascoe is back on familiar territory when he is called to Holm Coltram University, along with his straight-talking, mickey-taking boss, the formidable Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel.
But it is not the groves of academe that are calling to Dalziel, it is the lure of the unearthed body of a mystery middle-aged woman - buried underneath a statue commemorating the late head of the college.
For Pascoe the discovery of the remains at the university gives him the chance to meet up once more with Ellie who is a lecturer there. The couple's relationship looks like it's ripe for renovation. The university campus becomes a temporary headquarters for Dalziel and Pascoe as they set up their office in the Principal's study. They soon learn that all is not as it seems at this seat of learning