George Gadberry, "resting actor", packs his bags and heads for obscurity when the tax inspector beckons. Then he receives a mysterious invitation and a proposition that could lead to enormous riches. Wealthy imbiber Nicholas Comberford wants George to impersonate him in order to secure a place in the will of fabulously affluent Great-Aunt Prudence, who lives in a Cistercian monastery and won't allow a single drop of liquor in the place. Gadberry's luck seems to have changed - but at what cost?
There's always a certain weird charm about Michael Innes's mysteries—they're interior, as well as intellectual. This one is almost entirely interior, but the person we inhabit is a two-bit actor, down on his luck, venal and weak. It's a long time to spend being so closely inside his head. Well read, but for a much more delightful run at this kind of plot (lost heirs, mistaken identities, clergymen with a taste for the occult) try Sweet Danger, by Margery Allingham, a fabulous and often very funny rural-Ruritania romp. (And listen to other Inneses first, the brilliant Appleby ones, like Hamlet, Revenge or Silence Observed.)