Back, for the sixth time (Law and Ardor, 1995, etc.), to Wyler, the small Indiana town where passions seethe beneath the depths on which Andrew Broom is the leading expert. And the leading lawyer—unless of course you're of that misguided contingent holding a brief for his bitter rival Frank McGough. The locals know that the two despise each other, each yearning for opportunities to take the other on for the sole purpose of inflicting humiliation. The latest of these presents itself after the death of multimillionaire philanthropist Stanley Waggoner, Frank's richest client. As the estate is about to be divvied up according to the dead man's will, a beautiful young woman appears in Andrew's office, claiming to be the widow Waggoner and brandishing another will. Blackstones flailing, no holds barred, each legal eagle prepares the maneuvers that will assure the downfall of his learned friend. In the meantime, the heirs are not just standing around doing nothing. Several of the potential legatees, realizing the gravity of the situation, have managed to get themselves murdered. Could it be that someone is out to enlarge his or her share of the pie? Looks that way, and yet the suspect the police like best has no apparent connection to either Waggoner or his relict.
As usual, the pace is brisk, the plot under control, the tone entertainingly wry. Though McInerny is known mostly for the far less tidy Father Dowling series, this Broom sweeps cleaner.