The church of St. Ethelred in the village of Thirk Magna is renowned for its team of bell-ringers, the troupe led by identical twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin. Mavis and Millicent are lifelong residents of the remote village-- or were, until their home is broken into one night, and Millicent is murdered. Is the killer one of their co-workers, sick of being bullied to practice for a big performance? Or perhaps Joseph Kennell, a retired lawyer who was heard yelling at the sisters that he felt like strangling them? Kennell swears his innocence, and hires the ever-trusty (if often tipsy) Agatha Raisin to clear his name.