What started as a bit of naughty fun for time-share salesman William Price--a spot of transvestite auto-asphyxia--turned lethal when somebody kicked the table he was standing on out from under him. Now it's his heirs who are left dangling. His wife and his partner in Price Fleming, who just happen to be lovers, are clutching a pile of overdue bills and blueprints for unbuilt (but already sold) time-share apartments. His older son, Antony, has inherited the old man's propensity for wife-beating, even though he's never officially tied the knot with Dr. Annabelle Brewster; his younger son, Francis, drifts in and out of heroin addiction. Even Miles Arnold, parliamentary consultant to the firm, keeps embarrassing himself with one flimsy alibi after another. As Chief Supt. John McLeish toils through the marsh of good riddance and bad paper that Bill Price has left in his wake, McLeish's wife Francesca Wilson is befriending Annabelle, whom she's met at a battered women's refuge. The case is a family affair in more ways than one, since both McLeish and Francesca are tempted to embark on romantic flings, McLeish with an old flame now working in the Fraud Squad, Francesca with the shelter's dishy solicitor, who'll soon have troubles of his own. There's not much suspense in Price's dusty embezzlements. Francesca's fifth case (Death Among the Dons, 1993, etc.) comes to life only when Antony Price's violent nature is front and center, or when you're wondering which of the heroes will be the first to dishonor their marital vows.