Lady Jane Hildreth--beautiful, blond, rich, and for ten years a British secret agent (The Cotswold Mistress, etc.) is directed by her boss (known to her only as ``Chief'') to investigate the deaths of elderly reclusive widow Veronica Langhorn, owner of Studwell Manor, and her butler-caretaker Jack Swinton. Mrs. Langhorn's husband had founded a huge petrochemical company in Australia, and it soon becomes clear to Jane that her Chief has personal connections to Australia and to the Langhorn family. Chemicals, blackmail, and the link to Australia are facets of the case that develops--along with a lecherous Middle Eastern entrepreneur on whose superdeluxe yacht Jane nearly meets an early demise. The Chief's once-intriguing aura has vanished with his anonymity, making Jane's burgeoning infatuation yet another puzzle in one of the season's sillier plots--unaided, for the most part, by its flatly monotonous narrative style. Uncompelling stuff.