What will become of aged housekeeper/companion Anna Cox now that her charge, octogenarian Helen Lovelock, has died and left her house, her emeralds, and most of her money to her niece Kate, an actress due in shortly from the States, and to her long-lost nephew Nick, recently arrived from Australia? Neighbor Virginia Freer barely has time to fret about Anna's future when Helen's emeralds are stolen, her dog poisoned, and her niece murdered in her bed. The police take Nick into custody, and then, at Anna's urging, Virginia asks her estranged husband, Felix, a con man, to come investigate and prove Nick innocent. Suspicion falls, in turn, on all of Helen's mourners--from a retarded chap and his vengeful mum to the neighbor who had the emeralds' clasp repaired. The police question everyone. Felix questions everyone. The police mull things over. Felix mulls things over. And so on--until thieves fall out when a dog-chewed ear gives lie to an identity switch. Pretty flimsy stuff, enlivened only by Felix pocketing a Steuben owl figurine and Virginia's mild cynicism. Still, with 60 or so books to her credit, Ferrars (Danger from the Dead, p. 20, etc. etc.) clearly has her fans, who will find this effort middling/fair.