A Fitzjohn Mystery, the second in the series. The others which I have read are The Celtic Dagger, which is the first of the series, and Once Upon A Lie, which introduces us once again to the redoubtable Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn, of New South Wales.
Fitzjohn putters with his orchids, a legacy of his deceased wife, and tries to stave off the unwanted help of his domineering sister, who means well, but, you know….
In this mystery case, we have a couple of brothers who have a very prosperous jewelry business, and who hate each other — and not cordially, either. The older one dies of an illness before he could make contact with his estranged son, a geo-something-or-other Phd. He leaves his entire estate, including his share of the jewelry business, to the son. The surviving brother is enraged, and swears to do all in his power to break the will.
But alas and alack, he is found dead in the alley behind the building which houses the business, and oh dear, he has argued with just everyone! and is mean as
catcrap anything, so we have a boatload of possible suspects. Half the world benefits from having him now a former person, and the other half is just glad to get rid of him, the nasty son of a gun.
I do so like a murderee that no one likes, and who has seemed to have achieved his just desserts. So satisfying, don’t you think?
So anyway, Fitzjohn and his partner Betts do their detecting, and the suspects do their suspicious stuff, and all is as it should be in a decent detective murder mystery.
You probably already know that ‘just deserts’ comes from an obsolete meaning of desert—namely, something that is deserved or merited. Yeah, it has nothing to do with pumpkin pie or baked Alaska, Phooey.