The Answerths live in extreme isolation in a lonely house surrounded by a moat. Bony becomes interested in the case when Mrs. Answerth is found strangled in the moat. Inspector Stanley was unable to solve the previous similar death of the local butcher, Ed Carlow. Mary Answerth is a tartar, a rough, tough woman who reckons there isn't a man or horse she can't master. Her sister ]anet is smooth and educated, speaking sweetly and with a slight lisp. Half-brother Morris is a great bear of a man with the mind of a child. He is kept locked in a room, plays with a toy train and is adept with a lasso... This is a strange, eerie and gripping mystery.