First published in 1953, this was the last of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries and the last in my project to read them all. Written in order to pay a tax bill (if I remember correctly from Jennifer Kloester’s excellent biography, Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller) the novel has a cast of quirky characters and is full of Heyer's witty dialogue. The plot – a reasonably standard whodunit with a range of possible culprits – is not exactly a page turner but was engaging enough to retain my interest. I didn’t guess the identity of the murderer until just before the penny dropped for Heyer’s entertaining detective Chief Inspector Hemingway, which was a definite plus.
This novel will appeal most to fans of Heyer’s writing and to readers with a fondness for the lighter side of British Golden Age detective fiction, rather than to dedicated readers of contemporary crime novels. However, it was a fun read, made even more fun by reading it with my friend Jemidar – who, clever clogs that she is - picked the culprit well in advance.