The tenants of Lois Meade's terrace house in Tresham are frustrated by their neighbor's feisty pet cockerel, Satan. His owner, Clem Fitch, refuses to part with his feathery companion-making Lois's tenants fly the coop. Luckily, her son Douglas agrees to rent the house.
But when Clem and Satan are found dead, Douglas-who is involved with Clem's daughter-becomes a prime suspect in some foul business.
In British author Purser's sprightly eighth Lois Meade cozy (after 2007's Sorrow on Sunday), Lois, who operates a cleaning service called New Brooms, looks into the murder of 78-year-old Clement Fitch and his infamously loud rooster, Satan. Lois's son, Douglas, Clem's new neighbor in the town of Tresham, becomes a prime suspect after an anonymous informant claims to have seen Douglas knock the pensioner to the ground. Members of the Meade family, Lois's employees and Douglas's new girlfriend all seek to prove Douglas's innocence. To do so, they must unmask the true identities of Clem's neighbor across the street, Mrs. Imogen Blairgowrie, a supposedly visually impaired New Brooms client, whose slimy son, Alastair, might be involved with organized crime. Purser supplements the sleuthing with spot-on observations of working-class village life and the trials of running a small business, though a rushed resolution leaves some questions unanswered.