A writer visits a quaint English cathedral town and discovers its goings-on are stranger than fiction.
When Evan J. Kirby, an eminent American expert on Heaven and Hell, arrives in Barrowcester to do some research, he finds the community in a less than blissful state. There is the bishop sharing his doubts with the confirmation class, while his mother feeds marijuana cookies to Evan's landlady to unleash her psychic powers. Then there is Emma lurking in her father's study waiting for love, Dawn sitting naked in a deckchair at midnight waiting for the Devil, and Madeleine seeking refuge from a cardinally inclined Cardinal. When Evan delves into the true origins of the local saint, a macabre and romantic sequence of events begins to unfold.