If you find pleasure in the works of John Constable rather than winners of the Turner Prize then enjoy the ride with Winwood as you uncover the irreverent, satirical and humorous aspect of the Arts world as presented by the Rutherford Arts Festival. Or as Detective Chief Inspector Steve Winwood describes it: ‘One Hundred of the World’s Worst Artistic Disasters’.
What could possibly go wrong at the Rutherford Arts Festival? DCI Winwood is about to find out. It is not long before the first body is found at the VIP drinks evening. Edwin ‘Eddie’ Searchfield was an old man but what interests Winwood is that he died drinking a glass of wine sitting at the table directly beneath a painting of a naked cellist. The painting is not officially entered into the exhibition and no one knows who the artist is or who the naked cellist is. She is taken into police custody until one or both can be established. As the Festival progresses so do the number of unusual accidents that occur to a group of people connected by University, School and the Arts. These happen against a backdrop of strange, bizarre, unusual and totally experimental performances booked into the festival by the novice organiser John Charlesworth and featured in the daily blog of cub reporter Maggs Holdgate.
Winwood’s nose for suspecting that dark forces are at work has never let him down before and this case is no different. Sergeant Emma Porter and Winwood have to call upon the knowledge and expertise of loyal friends; ROADS the Rutherford Operatic And Dramatic Society, Brian Bennett the newspaper editor, John Cherry the antiquarian bookseller, the Reverend Janice Paige and Christine Grey, Leader of the Council. Finally Winwood makes a connection between the Festival and the motive behind it but no one can or will confirm his version. There are two more deaths, a hit and run, a blackmail threat and drugged drinks before everything becomes quite clear and a suspect arrested.