This is the fourth in a series of light-hearted detective stories in which the vicar of Sherburn is caught up in seedy circumstances not of his own making and obliged, given the inertia of the local police forces, to conduct murder investigations himself. However, the dead man doesn’t stay dead for long because weeks later, he is seen alive.
One day in April 1739, the vicar of Sherburn buries in the churchyard an unfortunate victim of murder, identified as Jacob Robshaw. Weeks later, Robshaw is seen alive and well. Then an ex-convict relates how Robshaw was murdered and buried at Sherburn after all. A report comes in that Robshaw, alive and pursuing a criminal career, has just been sentenced to transportation to America. The vicar is then invited to meet Robshaw in person, apparently free and wishing to establish a school for poor children. Is it any wonder that he is confused? And if Robshaw has not been murdered, who was buried at Sherburn? A fourth light-hearted tale from the diaries of the hapless vicar of Sherburn.