Less courtroom give-and-take than usual for barrister Antony Maitland, who goes to provincial Northdean to defend a policeman in a wrongful arrest case: though the plaintiffs were very guilty of diamond smuggling (in pots of cheese), their crime boss, whom Antony dubs ""Mr. X,"" has somehow managed to make all the evidence against them disappear. Then one of the plaintiffs is killed--Mr. X strikes again!--and Antony's client is charged with murder. While Antony unmasks Mr. X, his uncle Nicholas indirectly romances a local barrister, sixtyish Vera Langhorne. Fans of the usually extensive legal banter will be disappointed, and those who have grown weary of Woods' endless procession of criminal masterminds will run the other way. But, as always, neat and stylish.