Robert Forsythe, the author's amiable barrister-sleuth, is working this time with only minor help from indomitable secretary-aide Abigail Sanderson (A Death for Adenis, etc.). Her nephew Bully has persuaded Forsythe to spend a few days at the country estate of American business tycoon Anthony Funicelli, an old friend with something on his mind. It turns out that Funicelli has been receiving letters threatening him and his young, doted-on, pregnant Sicilian bride Lucia. They've been typed on his home office machine, on house stationery. Forsythe studies Funicelli's guests in the lavishly vulgarized mansion--slavish, look-alike cousin Fredo Clemenza; chic, patrician mother Rosa; and Hansel and Gretchen, Funicelli's twins from his first, failed marriage, whose flower-child facade barely masks their steely hatred for him. Meanwhile, Mexican houseboy Tip shares duties with inherited lifelong retainer Mrs. Flowers, who lives in a cottage on the grounds with retarded son Noah and his older brother, Jacob, who do the estate's gardening In any event, though Funicello is hated and feared, it's cousin Fredo who's shot to death in the cagelike elevator. Jacob is arrested for the murder by arrogant Inspector Lewis, but then a second killing puts Forsythe onto the devious plotting and well-hidden motive of the real murderer. Complex, mostly convincing characters and a wheels-within-wheels scenario make for easy-going entertainment just short of this reliable author's very best efforts.