Arthur Kedby, a blackmailing con-man with a yen for respectability, thinks he's found a new victim in Judge Gerald Wenning--who sometimes visits Kedby's neighbor Tony Ching, a homosexual prostitute. But Kedby has scarcely put his plan into action when Ching is murdered, the Judge commits suicide, and Kedby's charged with Ching's killing. His court-appointed defender is smart, spirited Rosa Epton, who works hard to prove Kedby's innocence--and her inquiries focus on the Judge's wife and daughter (who were mostly in the dark about the Judge's depraved secret life) and on the Judge's son-in-law Douglas, a shady antique dealer who knew all about the Judge. . . and has some secrets of his own. Eventually, of course, Rosa will bring the true culprit to justice, but only after poor Kedby is killed by a grenade mistakenly thrown into the wrong courtroom. Despite some awfully glaring flaws--flabby motivation, a contrived ending, untidy threads leading nowhere--another solid Underwood good-read, with some intriguing characters and a sure, steady pace.