Five witnesses were on hand in the California beachfront house Chicago billionairess Anna Poritzky Claddington had inherited from her geezer husband a generation ago to see the Madame, as everyone called her, get shot to death amid a Fourth of July fireworks display—and four of them are ready to testify that they saw one of the gardeners, Innocencio Espinal, toss the murder weapon into the Pacific. Even though the weapon hasn't been recovered, the case against the Mexican Communist with bad political credentials and a worse personal attitude looks so airtight that Innocencio's public defender calls Bomber Hanson, the world's leading trial lawyer, to see if he'd like a long shot at another victory on his home court against blueblood DA Webster Grainger III (Too Rich and Too Thin
, 2000, etc.). But how can Bomber refute the testimony of Madame's secretary, her Chicago lawyer, her bodyguard, and one of Innocencio's fellow gardeners? By sending his son Tod, a legal lackey with aspirations as a composer, to Chicago on a fact-finding mission. Tod is in the Windy City just long enough to find two vital facts: (1) the lawyer, Morely Tushman, has squirreled away a series of jotted notes that seem to link the homicide to the presidential campaign of flag-waving Sen. Otto Underwood; and (2) Tod's in love again, this time with Tushman's violinist secretary Joan Harding.
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