A twin impersonates his sister in hopes of solving her attempted murder.
Vance—stage name Gloriana—is a female impersonator who has no problem taking his sister Nessa’s place after she’s pushed off a battlement at Friary Keep, home of wealthy businessman Everett Oversall. With the help of Nessa’s doctor, he returns as a frail amnesiac, hiding his muscular body under a caftan, a turban and judiciously applied makeup. There are plenty of likely suspects in a house filled with Everett’s ex-girlfriends and a rummy group of hangers-on. Only Nessa’s Angora cat, also named Gloriana, knows that Vance is an impostor, but she can be bribed with delicacies to accept his presence. When Vance discovers a body in a monk’s cell—perhaps of another of Everett’s missing assistants—he realizes he’s in danger. A slick cleanup operation disposes of the body, and several of Everett’s minders try to convince Vance that the incident was a hallucination brought on by his injuries. Vance can only guess who hated Nessa enough to kill. Room searches, strange chanting and a mysterious monk all add to his confusion, but his strong connection to his twin keeps him searching for a solution that’s nearly the death of him and his namesake.
Babson continues her string of feline tales (The Cat Who Wasn’t a Dog, 2003, etc.) with an unlikely but enjoyable Gothic mystery that keeps you guessing.