Inspector Thatcher, so stately these days he's beginning to blend into that Bigelow on the floor of his law firm, takes on the unravelled Parajian family, the Carriers of rare oriental rugs. To establish the identity of a murdered long-lost elderly aunt, and untangle the warring claims of the Parajian heirs, one of whom did her in, is the work of the moment -- or is it hours. . . ?