The scents of murder and betrayal fill the Paris air.
Milo and Amory Ames are vacationing in Lake Como when Milo receives a note from his childhood nanny, Madame Nanette, asking them to stop and see her in Paris. Bidding adieu to their neighbor André Duveau, they leave for Paris, where Madame Nanette had been hired to care for the young daughter of Helios Belanger and his much younger second wife, Beryl. Belanger is a famous French parfumier whose oldest son, Anton, helps run the business and whose oldest daughter, Cecile, is a creative genius who works with her father on the perfumes. Michel, Belanger's younger son, is a playboy with no interest in the family business. Helios’ recent death has been written off as a heart attack, but Madame Nanette, who was once his lover, suspects that he was murdered. Agreeing to look into the matter, the sleuthing duo (A Most Novel Revenge, 2016, etc.) gains entree to the family by asking Cecile to tailor an individual scent for Amory after they meet at a party thrown to reveal the fabulous new perfume Helios had recently created. The motives for murder are many. Helios may have had a mistress, Beryl may have had a lover, and Cecile and Anton both think they should control the company. Milo and Amory have gone through their own share of rough patches in their marriage. Although Amory loves Milo passionately, his secretive ways and playboy reputation still make it hard for Amory to trust him. Realizing that he’s still hiding things from her makes her furious and determined to pursue the case on her own, a course that’s gotten her in trouble in the past.
Weaver, a librarian, has a deft touch with the 1930s upper-class repartee. The climactic surprise makes this the best of her mysteries to date.