Kent, 1796: shocked to discover a dying man on his doorstep--and lucky to avoid a bullet himself--Reverend Hardcastle finds himself entrusted with the victim's cryptic last words. With smuggling rife on England's south-east coast, the obvious conclusion is that this was a falling out among thieves. But why is the leader of the local Customs service so reluctant to investigate? Ably assisted by the ingenious Mrs. Chaytor, Hardcastle sets out to solve the mystery for himself. But smugglers are not the only ones to lurk off the Kent coast, and the more he discovers, the more he realizes he might have bitten off more than he can chew. Changed from Romney Marsh Mysteries to Hardcastle and Chaytor Mysteries with second in series.