Multiple tasks beset a Bath painter and private eye.
Chris Honeysett is having a bad day. His painting is not going well and wind and rain have poked holes in his roof. In order to raise the cash to fix it, he agrees to tail James Lane for Griffin Insurance to prove he’s faking injuries to defraud the company. Following Lane into the local, he’s approached by two teens who insist they overheard someone planning to murder a man named Albert and a nosey witchy-woman. Then someone steals Chris’s car, and when it’s found there’s a dead gent curled up in the back seat. Albert? No one knows, and before Chris can find out, he has a phone call from a distraught mum insisting that someone’s abducted her son and Chris needs to look into it. The kidnappers want him to burgle Barry Telfer’s house, empty his safe and exchange its contents for the boy. With some illegal help from his squeeze Annis and her alternate lover Tim, Chris opens the safe, but he’s robbed of its contents and has to commit two more break-ins to appease the kidnappers. Meanwhile, the witchy-woman gets bashed; the local constabulary turn up everywhere Chris goes; and he gets saddled with an orphaned cat. It’s just one MacGuffin after another before the crimes, criminals and lovers sort themselves out.
Self-deprecating Chris (Slim Chance, 2006) is a charmer, and this is the most sophisticated bit of slapstick to come along in ages.