Good characters, rather than action, mark up another topnotch whodunit for Roderick Alleyn's creator. In Northern New Zealand, thermal springs, their therapeutic value, and Doresque decor, background the killing of bounderish Mr. Questing. To the S comes actor Gaunt, wins the owners, the Claires, is bootlicked by Questing, makes Barbara Claire dewy-eyed. An attempted murder, suspicion that Questing is a Neal spy, Questing's death, which is thoroughly spied on by invalid Falls. Trouble over a Maori rello and subversive attempts on a native reserve embroider the investigation of Falls, the Claires' wooly-headed ability to clarify everything. Good local color tones, sharp portraits.