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While in Stratford, widow Sheila Malory always stays with her old friend, actor David Beaumont. On this visit she finds him in dire straits: his career is on the skids and his finances are in ruins. Unless he can convince his penny-pinching brother Francis to sell their jointly owned family home in the seaside village of Taviscombe, the bank will repossess his cottage. Francis, Dean of the Culminster Cathedral, does not believe that charity begins at home. He refuses to put the house on the market or provide a loan. Mrs. Malory offers David a place to stay in her own home in Taviscombe so that the two brothers might meet in person to find a solution. Even if Francis can be persuaded to sell, one impediment remains: their ancient and addled nanny has been told that she can stay in the home until she dies. Even after Nana's sudden death, Francis insists that they hold on to the property. When he dies from consuming high tea laced with poison, the police conclude that both deaths were murder. Unfortunately David is their prime suspect. Determined to clear her friend's name, Mrs. Malory applies her considerable skills as an amateur sleuth to identify the real culprit. She has seen her share of evil, but even Mrs. Malory is shocked by what her investigation turns up. Death of a Dean is the seventh of Hazel Holt's Mrs. Malory mysteries.