It can be a bit of an embarassment when your old man is done in. Particularly when you are a rising inspector with CID, and hated his guts. Particularly when your old man was at the time subjecting himself to a do-it -yourself version of Spanish Iquisition torture. And wearing spangled tights. What it meant was that Perry Trethowan had to go back to the home of his ancestors and do a bit of semi-official sleuthing.
Like the Sitwells and the Mitfords, Trethowans proved that Birth and Artistic Talent could go together. The Trethowans, through, made one hope it didn't happen to often. Perry's father had been a dilettante composer so minor that he stopped cpmposing long before he started decomposing. His Uncle Lawrence, head of the family, was a poet of sorts, one of his aunts a stage designer, another an overgrown schoolgirl who had never grown ot of her thirties crush on Adolf Hitler. And thats only the older generation. Perry goes with fear and trembling back into the lion's den, and finds that his worst forbodings are mere shadows of grisly reality.