Julia Larwood’s Aunt Regina needs help. She and two friends pooled their modest resources and invested in equities. Now the tax man demands his due, but they’ve already spent the money. How can they dig themselves out of the tax hole? Even more to the point: Can the sin of capital gains trigger corporeal loss?
That’s one for the sibyl, psychic counselor Isabella del Comino, who has offended Aunt Regina and her friends by moving into the rectory, plowing under a cherished garden, and establishing an aviary of ravens. When Isabella is found dead, all clues point to death by fiscal misadventure.
So Julia calls in an old friend and Oxford fellow, Professor Hilary Tamar, to follow a money trail that connects Aunt Regina to what appears to be capital fraud — and capital crime. The two women couldn’t have a better champion than the erudite Hilary, as once again Sarah Caudwell sweeps us into the scene of the crime, leaving us to ponder the greatest mystery of all: Hilary, him — or her — self.
Young barrsiter Michael Cantrip has skipped of to the Channel Islands to take on a tax-law case that’s worth a fortune — if Cantrip’s tax-planning cronies can locate the missing heir. But Cantrip has waded in way over his head. Strange things are happening on these mysterious, isolated isles. Something is going bump in the night — and bumping off members of the legal team, one by one. Soon Cantrip is telexing the gang at the home office for help. And it’s up to amateur investigator Hilaray Tamar (Oxford don turned supersleuth) to get Cantrip back to safety of his chambers — alive!
It seemed the perfect way to avoid three million in taxes on a five-million-pound estate: change the trust arrangement. Everyone in the family agreed to support the heiress, ravishing raven-haired Camilla Galloway, in her court petition — except dreary Cousin Deirdre, who suddenly demanded a small fortune for her signature. Then Deirdre had a terrible accident. That was when the young London barristers handling the trust — Cantrip, Selena, Timothy, Ragwort, and Julia — summoned their Oxford friend Professor Hilary Tamar to Lincoln’s Inn. Julia thinks it’s murder. Hilary demurs. Why didn’t the heiress die? But when the accidents escalate and they learn of the naked lunch at Uncle Rupert’s, Hilary the Scholar embarks on the most perilous quest of all: the truth….
When her personal copy of the current Finance Act is found a few metres away from a body, young barrister Julia Larwood finds herself caught up in a complex fight against the Inland Revenue. Set to have a vacation away from her home life and the tax man, Julia takes a trip with her art-loving boyfriend. However, all is not what it seems. Could he in fact be an employee of the establishment she has been trying to escape from? And how did her romantic luxurious holiday end in murder?