This is a story of graft and corruption set in one of Fletchers favoured Northern towns. The mayor who is on a clean-up campaign is found dead in his parlour and our hero, his younger cousin, is determined to find out who killed him. Was he eliminated for this reason? There are entanglements involving city officials and his proposed reforms plus jealousy related to relationships. Lots of twists with a surprise murderer. The plot is cleverly centered around the inquest, which keeps being adjourned in hope of new evidence.