Murder disrupts a block of upscale flats in Bristol.
Fenella Tremaine may have been tough and outspoken, but did her clashes with fellow tenants’ association member Marcus Ellerman or her criticisms of caretaker Frederick Wilkins lead one of them to stab her with an Oriental-patterned knife and heave her lifeless body into a Dumpster behind Sycamore Arms? Fellow tenants with their own theories include elderly Kate Springfield, who doesn’t want to jeopardize her second-floor flat with its view of the well-tended garden and the hills of Wales in the distance. But her cousin Patsy Godwin insists it’s her duty, so Kate tells DC Sukey Reynolds (Miss Minchin Dies, 2011, etc.) about the tall, well-muscled gentleman she saw by the rubbish bins the night of the murder. Kate’s is just one of the tantalizing bits of information that seem to lead Sukey nowhere. Learning that Fenella was to be called as a witness in a lawsuit against the Holmwood Care Home in the death of an elderly patient doesn’t move their investigation forward, even when it seems that she was having an affair with its owner. Nor does the knowledge that Fenella was Ellerman’s chief rival for promotion at Maxworth Foods, where they both worked. More deaths increase Sukey’s frustration with the case—frustration she deals with mainly by sharing endless bottles of wine and canoodling with reporter Harry Matthews.
Usually brisk Sukey hits the doldrums in her sluggish twelfth outing.