A cheerful young lawyer chucks Manhattan to follow his wife to remotest Massachusetts, where she will teach and he will rattle the skeletons in her family's closet. Attorney Higgins (Victories, 1990, etc.), who lives in Massachusetts, knows all the worst about small-town politics. The action is now and not-so-long-ago, but the atmosphere is MGM's New England in the 1940's. Thoroughly modern husband and corporate-law whiz Joe Corey cheerfully hops off the fast track when Mrs. Corey answers an emergency call for tenure-track help at Mount Holyoke. It's not really that big a sacrifice for Joe since corporate law, at which he is very good, has turned out to be highly paid boredom. Far more interesting is the opportunity to clear up the alleged suicide of Mrs. Corey's grandfather, who 20 years earlier fell to a shotgun shell in the office of his small- town bank. Suicide didn't really make sense, but there were no obvious murderers. Joe's inquiries quickly suggest a likely motive for murder. The banker had borrowed half a million from persons unknown to buy a piece of property, which was soon worth much more than the loan. The mysterious mortgagers wanted the property for themselves. Forming a partnership with a local retiree, no-nonsense former Defense Department investigator Baldo Ianucci, Corey picks up trails that lead to fellow lawyers near and far and to those shy but very, very large loan sharks. Not in the least ambitious but very smooth. Intelligent, upmarket, comfort reading.