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Construction on Mrs Pargeter's new country home comes to an abrupt halt when a corpse is discovered in the wine cellar. The accused is Concrete Jacket, the builder and great friend of Mrs P's late, lamented husband. Mrs P is not about to let prison come between her and her dream home. Concrete may be a scoundrel but he's no killer. Someone has set him up—but who? Mrs Pargeter determines to find out.
Hired by another widow, Veronica Chastaigne, to return all the art treasures that her late husband accumulated in a long career of larceny, Mrs Pargeter is forced to find out more than she would wish about the deceased Mr P's "business activities" as she recreates one of his most famous scams.