A stylish, Shavian (as in Irwin), and unabashedly commercial entertainment that allows the ever-elegant Buckley (A Very Private Plot, 1993, etc.) to poke wicked fun at, among other targets, the moral legacy of FDR. Henry Chafee and Daniel Tracy O'Hara served together as US infantrymen in WW II Italy. Although Henry's nerve failed during an assault on German lines, Danny covered for him, and an ambiguous bond was formed. After the war, Henry (the industrious son of a widowed librarian) and Danny (a privileged grandson of the late President Roosevelt) room together at Yale; here, the one earns a reputation as a fearless student athlete, while the other majors in wine, women, and song. Then, on a summer holiday abroad, Danny is shaken down by a Riviera ponce. With Henry's help, he recovers incriminating photos from the would-be extortionist, but, unbeknownst to his friend, Danny also kills the importunate blackmailer. Back in the States, the lads graduate and go their separate ways, Henry to Time magazine as a reporter and Danny into the hotel business. They remain close, though, because Danny marries Henry's lovely, devoutly Catholic sister, Caroline. Meanwhile, as Danny climbs the corporate ladder and yields to financial as well as fleshly temptations, hard-working Henry makes a name for himself as a foreign correspondent in Vietnam, where he repeatedly proves his physical courage. Then Danny's long, tall sister Lila learns her brother is an embezzler and forces him not only to make restitution but to quit his executive post. To escape subsequent exposure, the hard-drinking philanderer commits another murder. Henry eventually brings Danny to book back in southern France, where he's been interviewing Georges Simenon on unsolved cases the Belgian novelist uses as material for his mysteries. A tony tale of crimes and punishments.