Featuring Dalziel and Pascoe
Geraldine Lomas's son went missing in Italy during World War Two, but the eccentric old lady never accepted his death. Now she is dead, leaving the Lomas beer fortune to be divided between an animal rights organisation, a fascist front and a services benevolent fund. As disgruntled relatives gather by the graveside, the funeral is interrupted by a middle-aged man in an Italian suit, who falls to his knees crying, "Mama!"
Andy Dalziel is preoccupied with the illegal book one of his sergeants is running on who is to be appointed as the new Chief Constable. But when a dead Italian turns up in the police car park, Peter Pascoe and his bloated superior are plunged into an investigation that makes internal police politics look like child's play.