‘Antique dealer by the name of Peter Shaw,’ said the Chief. ‘Found dead this morning.’ From a heart attack, or from the manual strangulation which had accompanied it? A complex problem, especially when Shaw’s estranged love Hilary is Detective-Inspector Neil Carter’s mysterious and beautiful neighbour. Whom Neil has begun to console . . .
His Chief doesn’t know this – or does he? – but the fact of being neighbours is coincidence enough, and Neil is expected to play a subtle unofficial role in the investigation of a death which could have been from natural causes or from murder.
At once other problems confront him. Has Hilary been back to Shaw’s house since she left it three months earlier? And what of the antique dealer’s new love? His cold brother and warm sister-in-law? Hilary’s boss who changes so interestingly after Shaw’s death?
There is also the problem of Neil’s other neighbour Cathy, who helps him with his investigations and tries not to mind about his relationship with Hilary . . .
Finally, there is the problem of the antique dealer’s priceless early copy of the Wedgwood Portland Vase, missing from the room in which he died. Hilary maintains the vase is the answer to the riddle of Shaw’s death. But is it?