Sturrenden's Inspector Luke Thanet's 12th case (Wake the Dead, etc.) has him investigating the death of vineyard owner Zak Randish, found in his office amid a welter of blood and broken glass. Interviews with Randish's wife, in-laws, employees, and business associates produce an unsavory picture of a philandering, abusive husband who cheated in business as well. Thanet and loyal sidekick Lineham explore a dozen avenues that lead nowhere. Revelation of motive and solution--when it comes--owes nothing to their efforts. The author is coasting in this one--its piddling contrivances, dull characters, and somnolent pace will win no new fans for the usually reliable Inspector, who, it is to be hoped, will be back on track for number 13.