Another seemingly impossible assignment for barrister-sleuth Antony Maitland (The Lie Direct, etc.), involving the defense of likable, craggy society photographer Robert Osmond, on a charge of murdering his ex-wife Phillipa. Osmond had been desperately trying to retain custody of eight-year-old daughter Jennifer, deserted by Phillipa years before. Determined to marry older, rich Matthew Leighton, who wanted a family, she had trumped up a foolproof case to regain custody--but was found strangled before its resolution. Now, Maitland is able to undermine the basis of the custody suit in court, but makes no headway in the murder defense until his sympatico wife Jenny draws some crucial information from Osmond's daughter. Jenny needn't have bothered, though, since the end comes not in courtroom fireworks but in a tame confession, providing a placid finish to one more of the author's polite, leisurely, mildly engrossing stories.