A perfectly splendid opening chapter: an appealing solicitor helps a pretty stranger as they board a country train to London, then discovers that she's dead upon arrival; and, in her artist's briefcase--an apparently genuine unknown Constable original. Unfortunately, however, the solicitor is soon phased out, and Chief Inspector Piet Deventer, Scotland Yard's resident art cop, is phased in. He traces the dead girl to an artists' colony near the Suffolk coast, finds the sugar tin with arsenic that poisoned her, and falls in love with one of the artsy residents. This is a tepid romance, and, worse yet, Anderson (Death in the Caribbean, etc.) allows the plot to gnarl into dull chase action, too many master criminals, and too many long explanations at the close. Some nice land, sea, and painterly atmosphere--but it's mostly wasted on a story that loses steam and charm as it progresses.