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Old Vandeveer is an odd client for the famous Jesse Falkenstein; dressed head to toe in shabby clothes it seems like he can hardly afford Jesse’s standard fee to draw up a will. But when he and his wife are murdered a few weeks later, Falkenstein is launched on an intricate search for a fortune the old man has hidden away.

The miser’s long-suffering daughter is the immediate suspect, but in an effort to clear her name, Jesse discovers a tale of sharp business deals, blackmail, pornography, a questionable legal marriage and murder.

‘My favourite American crime-writer’ New York Herald Tribune