A missing employer is just the beginning of a mounting catastrophe for Bea Abbot (False Fire, 2017, etc.)
As sole owner of Abbot’s Agency, Bea prides herself on sending only the best people to fill her clients’ domestic needs. So when an employee runs into trouble on the job, she feels it’s her duty to make things right. Still, the problem Magda Summerleys brings to Bea’s doorstep is a true stumper. Magda isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she’s doggedly loyal. That’s why once her employer, Lucas Rycroft, younger brother of George, Lord Rycroft, receives a call instructing him to take all the family’s jewelry out of the bank, he doesn’t think twice about stuffing the gems into a briefcase and handing it to Magda with the injunction, “Guard it with your life,” and then heading off to the barber's in a taxi. Trouble is, Lucas never arrives at his next appointment with a portrait painter who just happens to be Bea’s ex-husband, Piers. Instead, Lucas’ nasty twin nephews show up and beat up both Piers and Magda, who won’t give up the loot. Now Lucas is missing and Magda is stuck with a sackful of swag and no one to turn it over to. After a second encounter with the twins, Bea and Magda head over to Lucas’ only to find a corpse in Magda’s bed. Soon the Rycrofts are tumbling like tenpins, with no end in sight, no Lucas on the radar, and, worst of all, no motive for all the mayhem.
Part mystery, part drawing room farce, Heley’s latest flails gamely until it arrives at its improbable conclusion.