Private Detective Kinsey Millhone is between jobs when she becomes involved with the deaths of two men. Pete Wolinksy, a disreputable P.I. acquaintance is found shot to death in a Santa Teresa park, presumably by a mugger. And R.T. Dace, an alcoholic, ex-convict vagrant who Kinsey never met has left her a small fortune and made her executor of his will.
Turns out R.T. Dace is Kinsey's distant relative, and wanting to do the right thing Kinsey sets out to tell his disinherited children what happened. Though they had all rejected their father, the Dace children are furious and combative.
Meanwhile Kinsey's friend/sometimes lover Robert Dietz turns up, angry because Pete Wolinsky cheated him out of a fee. Thus Kinsey starts looking into the deaths of both Wolinksy and Dace and discovers some intriguing connections between them. Seems that Wolinsky was investigating a doctor who may have falsified data in a pharmaceutical study involving alcoholics.
There are a slew of interesting characters in this story including old favorites like Kinsey's handsome 88-year-old landlord Henry, his hypochondriac brother William, and William's wife, the restaurateur Rosie, who serves only one dish per day at her eatery.
Grafton does a masterful job of intertwining the Wolinksy/Dace story lines leading to a completely satisfactory conclusion. This is a treat of a mystery book.