Civil Servant/romance novelist Willow King checks into Dowting's Hospital just in time for the death of senior obstetrician Alexander Ringstead, who can't attend to Willow's postpartum hemorrhage because he's been drowned in his own birthing pool. Ringstead cut such a high professional and personal profile that there's an embarrassment of suspects: his society mistress and her ruthless financier husband, his angry ex-lover, the activists of WOMB (Women Overtake Male Birthing) picketing the hospital, the resentful aspirant for Ringstead's consultancy, the cost-cutting business manager he'd opposed over the issue of rationing obstetric care. Sadly, Cooper, as usual (Rotten Apples, 1995, etc.), is too preoccupied in limning the latest changes in Willow's domestic establishment to give these promising lesser fry more than a cursory glance. For the Willow-smitten only.