An] excellent fair-play mystery...this British Library Crime Classic more than deserves that status.--Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
On a dismally foggy night in Hampstead, London, a curious party has gathered in an artist's studio to weather the wartime blackout.
As World War II takes its toll around them, a civil servant and a government scientist are matching wits in a game of chess, while an artist paints the portrait of his characterful sitter, bedecked in Cardinal's robes at the other end of the room. In the kitchen, the artist's sister is hosting the charlady of the miser next door.
When the brutal murder of said miser is discovered by his nephew, it's not long before Inspector Macdonald of Scotland Yard is at the scene, faced with perplexing alibis and with the fate of the young man in his hands. In the search for the culprit, Macdonald and his team of detectives must figure out if one of the members of the studio party is somehow involved in the death, or if some other scurrilous neighbour could be responsible.
The British Library of Crime Classics is pleased to revive this clever, classic mystery for amateur sleuths and fans of British historical fiction.