Simon Brett's long and successful careers as thriller writer and humorist have come magnificently together in the Mrs Pargeter books, in which a charming middle-aged woman inherits a successful criminal empire from her dead husband, and proves more than equal to the task of using it more or less for good. In Mrs Pargeter's Point of Honour, she is hired by another widow, Veronica Chastaigne, to return all the art treasures that her late husband accumulated in a long career of larceny. Other greedier eyes are watching, though, and soon it is a question of stealing the pictures back again, so that they can be returned. All this is taking place under the watchful eyes of the incredibly dim Inspector Wilkinson and his worryingly less dim Sergeant--and even Wilkinson has his own designs on the widow of his old antagonist Pargeter. All British comedy is sooner or later about class--Brett is entertaining about Mrs Pargeter's sense of obligation to her late husband's tame fences, hackers and burglars. What makes this more than a snobbish romp is that Brett's creations have a certain gracefulness as they go about their enterprises--there is real elegance here. --Roz Kaveney
Hired by another widow, Veronica Chastaigne, to return all the art treasures that her late husband accumulated in a long career of larceny, Mrs Pargeter is forced to find out more than she would wish about the deceased Mr P’s “business activities” as she recreates one of his most famous scams.