The august Four Courts of Dublin are rocked to their foundation by the murder of a judge in chambers.
Shortly after Judge Sidney Piggott is found kicked to death, Inspector Denis Lennon and Sergeant Molly Powers discover that Piggott had a lucrative sideline in fencing stolen artworks through antique dealers Isa and Felix Roundstone. Following the pair to France, art squad Inspector Jim Quilligan learns that they have a valuable painting whose price can now enrich their offshore account. Blonde hairs found at the murder scene put the police on the trail of David Roundstone, Piggott’s unacknowledged son by Isa. The fact that David is a schizophrenic martial-arts expert who’s confessed to another bizarre murder in a country pub has the police scouring the country for him. But they can’t find David because he’s been working as a houseboy for Albert Singer, the repellent but clever chairman of the Bar Council, who does all he can to thwart the police. In a scene out of the genre classics, Singer calls in a group of people to listen to the police explain their lack of progress. Although the murder is solved at this conference, the guileful, appealing tale is far from over.
An erudite, witty and altogether delightful debut, full of characters laced with eccentricity and Irish charm.