A Toronto law school is just one of the lawyerly locations in this tale of attempted murder and blackmail—and cats.
As punishment for his involvement in several embarrassing public incidents, Justice Ted Mariner has been banished by the chief justice to a teaching assignment at suburban Scarborough University’s law school. Ted’s wife has permitted him to return home, but not with Amicus Q.C., his feline amanuensis (Murder’s Out of Tune, 2005, etc.). Unhappily farmed out to Ted’s friend, Amicus cleverly uses the public transit system to get around until he’s picked up and returned to Ted by animal control, then spends his time being carried to Ted’s appointments or hiding in the garden shed. Scarborough’s most disliked law professor is Mack Herskowitz, a sarcastic bon vivant whose Socratic teaching method is wildly unpopular with his students. When the Mariner family attend Mack’s alcohol-fueled Halloween party, he passes out and his first-year law student assistant, wisecracking Tony Albinoni, is poisoned. Tony is hauled off by paramedics only to reappear in excellent health weeks later. Amid nasty secrets and allegations of wrongdoing, Ted gets the job of defending Mack when he’s charged with attempted murder, drug possession and extortion. Amicus, wily feline that he is, manages to conceal himself in court and narrate an often hilarious drama worthy of Rumpole.
An uncommon mystery full of literate and sardonically humorous questions.