Following Barry Maitland's first mystery, The Marx Sisters, Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla and Detective Chief Inspector David Brock of Scotland Yard return in The Malcontenta, which won Australia's Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction, when it was first published.
Kathy is on temporary assignment away from London with the Family and Juvenile Crime division. Desperate to escape the second-rate duties assigned to her, she jumps at the chance to investigate the unnatural death of a young physiotherapist at an exclusive local naturopathic spa. Very soon it becomes clear that the apparent suicide is fraught with complications. Is a cover-up taking place to protect the reputations of wealthy clients? Or was the cause of death really suicide? Taken off the case before she has the chance to discover the truth, Kathy turns to Brock for help. But when Brock poses as a client, they both learn that spas are not always good for your health—especially if you’re a target for murder.