A dying billionaire. Nine would-be heirs. But only one will take the prize…
At the lush Villa Calypso on the French Riviera, a dying billionaire launches a devious plan: at midnight each day he appoints a new heir to his vast fortune. If he dies within 24 hours, that person takes it all. If not, their chance is gone forever.
Yet these are no ordinary beneficiaries, these men who crossed him, women who deceived him, and distant relations intent on reclaiming the family fortune. All are determined to lend death a hand and outwit their rivals in pursuit of the prize.
As tensions mount with every passing second, retired Scotland Yard investigator Jasper must stay two steps ahead of every player if he hopes to prevent the billionaire’s devious game from becoming a testament to murder…
Let’s take a trip to the French Riviera, shall we! And while we’re at it, let’s travel back in time to the Roaring Twenties! Now we are where and when we need to be, let’s go and visit Uncle Malcolm! Although I don’t think it’ll be a nice visit… He’s a shrewd, manipulative and rather cruel old man, that one. He’s been very poorly lately, so poorly in fact, that he’s requested all his relatives and friends (if you can call them that) to come and visit him before he dies. And to make his last days / weeks (?) more entertaining, Malcolm has decided to play a little game with his heirs: every night he’ll make a new testament, leaving his fortune to one person who is to inherit everything if Malcolm happens to die within those 24 hours. Interesting idea, to say the least, because who knows what effect this little game will have on the heirs in question, who’s to say one (or more) won’t figure out when it’s their name on the testament and try to kill Malcolm? So at first this is a cosy murder mystery without any actual murder but with lots of murderous thoughts. Until… the first person is killed and it’s not Malcolm… Dumdumdumdum! Was the killer just thinning the herd to tilt the odds in their favour, was it some kind of revenge, did the deceased know too much?
I thoroughly enjoyed the Agatha Christie vibe of it all, all the mystery, all the questions raised, and the very satisfying ending, the teensy bit of venom in this tale’s tail. At less than 200 pages, this was a quick and fun read that I’d happily recommend to any and all cosy mystery fans.
Thanks to NetGalley, Canelo and Vivian Conroy for the free eARC! All opinions are my own and I was not paid to give them.