man is stabbed to death outside a pub, his identity initially unknown though his unregistered car contains six thousand pounds in the boot. He was John Warnock, a former policeman recently returned home from London and working at Finches, a local brewery owned by Sam Hooper, boyfriend of John's sister Maggie, on whose farm John was staying. John was something of a ladies' man and married old flame Lisa Strachan was planning to elope with him. Her husband Ross, a violent man who had previously been arrested by John, is charged with assaulting him but was stealing lead from a church roof at the time of the murder and has an alibi. Vera learns that John had been hired to spy on Finches on behalf of a national firm anxious for a take-over but had been fired when no adverse evidence could be found and this was not the source of the six grand. It becomes apparent that John was blackmailing somebody, who eventually killed him but Vera finds that she has more than one suspect to choose from.

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