Another demanding case for Detective Superintendent Mike Yeadings of the Thames Valley police (All Unwary, 1998, etc.). Huge shipments of counterfeit bills are coming into the country (possibly from Holland), and Yeadings is sure there’s a connection to the killing of Customs agent Oliver Webb. Various sources lead Yeadings to home in on Fraylings Court as a likely conduit for the next shipment. It’s an old manor house in spacious grounds, lived in by ailing Sir James Siddons, his wife Liese, their daughter Connie and her husband Julian. The family has fallen on hard times and decided to run a sort of school for paying guests—art, ballet, riding, etc. Yeadings promptly enrolls Det. Sgt. Rosemary Zycyznski (usually called “Z”) under the name Maeve Finnegan—supposedly a teacher interested in the art classes of elderly teacher Désireé (Dizzy) Crumm. The other guests are all possibles for involvement in the counterfeit scam: retired journalist Dennis Hampton; Gerald and Pattie Dunne; Jennifer Yorke, with small daughter in tow; the rather mysterious Smith, days late in joining wife Nadia. Z’s presence is augmented by Beaumont, another undercover cop, at work in the kitchen. There’s much sneaking about the grounds and barns by Z and almost everyone else, leading eventually to the finish of the money scam and the nailing of Webb’s killer.
Fussy, repetitive plotting and a surfeit of unmemorable characters: one of Curzon’s lesser efforts.