The tiny hamlet of Clerihew Marsh is the site of the murder of Rose Mulvanney. Her five year old daughter calls the operator to summon assistance. Wiggins and Richard Jury are interested in another matter years later in Dorchester. The victim is Simon Riley, son of a butcher. It is wondered if Davey White in Wynchcoombe is somehow connected to the incident of Simon Riley. The second boy has been placed in a church. His grandfather and guardian is vicar there.
Help the Poor Struggler is, not surprisingly in a book from the Richard Jury series, a pub. Molly Singer wears off the rack Oxfam clothes. She will not speak to the police. The latest victim is Angela Thorne. She is wrapped in a cape belonging to Molly Singer. It seems that Molly Singer is Mary Mulvanney, a daughter of the years-ago murder victim.
It is pleasant to read a Richard Jury mystery because he appears complete with ensemble players. Half-way through this book Melrose Plant turns up at the Jack and Hammer along with the Long Piddleton antiques dealer, Marshall Trueblood. Jessica Ashcroft, a child and Jury's candidate for next victim, is all ready to service Plant's Rolls Royce which fails just outside the wall of the Ashcroft manor house. She claims to know about cars and welcomes him into the premises which is the plan as conceived by Plant and Jury.
Chief Superintendent Racer is concerned over the nonsolution of the cases. As Jury continues his investigation he surmises that the cases are connected since the sites, Princeton, Clerihew Marsh, and Wynchcoombe are equidistant from each other and from Ascroft Manor. Simon's stepmother has an Ashcroft connection it is ascertained. The vicar of Wynchcoombe is related too.
The story is well-plotted. This is a lovely book. The character of the child, Jessica Ashcroft, is just right.