Thea Osborne has just lost her beloved father and retreats to housesitting in Lower Slaughter, hoping to find peace. The scenery is beautiful, the tranquility a welcome backdrop to her independent ways, and there's a host of miscellaneous animals to help stave off her loneliness - not to mention the much-needed company of her faithful spaniel Hepzie. As Thea settles down to two weeks of solitude, her biggest challenges are doing jigsaw puzzles and fighting off bats in the bedroom. That is, of course, until reality catches up with her. When Thea's bossy elder sister turns up on her doorstep after witnessing a horrific killing, the rural serenity in Lower Slaughter descends into a web of mutual suspicions, accusations and confrontations.