When Detective Superintendent Mike Yeadings of the Thames Valley Serious Crime Squad reads in the paper that his old acquaintance, retired MI-6 agent Howard Swaffingham, has died in Prague, he suspects the man may have been murdered. It turns out that Swaffingham's actress-daughter Felicity also thinks so. What's more, Swaffingham had instructed her to pass on certain clues--in code--should Yeadings investigate his death. With the aid of his assistant, D.I. Angus Mott, and Mott's girlfriend Paula, Yeadings uncovers a connection between Swaffingham's death abroad and the strangling of a 16-year-old cook's helper at the posh local home of the Manton-Joneses (where Swaffingham rigged a decidedly odd document-signing just before he took off for Prague). Meanwhile, Felicity visits Prague--and returns with the news that her leukemia-stricken dad is still alive! Finally, painstaking police-work allows Yeadings to piece together all the bits--which amount to an elaborate frame-up, engineered by Swaffingham, to avenge the long-ago murder of his fiancÃ‰e Harriet. Pleasant dovetailing of derring-do and coziness from old British hand Curzon, whose Yeadings' series is introduced here for the first time. Twisty, in the Christie manner, with appealing, slightly quirky characterizations.