Sir Graham Forbes of Scotland Yard often calls upon Paul Temple to help with his latest unfathomable case...
In a small country lane, the well-known American, Myron Harwood, is found dead. The murder heralds the start of a spate of celebrity deaths - and each time the victim is found with a small white piece of cardboard, bearing the inscription `The Marquis'.
When a woman is pulled from the river with the same note attached to her dress, Paul Temple sends a note to Sir Graham Forbes. His message reads: `is it true what they say about Rita?' Rita Cartwright was a private detective hired to investigate the Marquis murders - and now she is the eighth victim. The police are baffled and the Home Secretary is calling for Paul Temple to intervene...
`Francis Durbridge, made [Paul and Steve's] adventures utterly enchanting within that shivering threadbare postwar reality.'-The Telegraph
`A classy period piece, all clipped accents, glamour and a smoking and drinking count to rival Mad Men. Great fun and surprisingly gripping.' -The Guardian
Francis Henry Durbridge was born 25th November 1912 in Hull, England. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School, where he was encouraged to write by his English teacher. He continued to do so while studying English at Birmingham University. After graduating in 1933, he worked for a short time as a stockbroker's clerk before selling a radio play, Promotion, to the BBC at the age of 21.
In 1938, Durbridge created the character Paul Temple, a crime novelist and detective. With Steve Trent, a Fleet Street journalist and later his wife, Temple solved numerous crimes in the glamorous world of the leisured middle classes, first on radio, then in films and, from 1969 to 1971, in a television series. In addition to the Paul Temple series, Durbridge wrote other mysteries for radio and television, many of which were also produced for German and Italian television and radio.
Durbridge also forged a successful career as a writer for the stage with seven plays, the last of which, Sweet Revenge, was written in 1991. He also wrote 43 novels, many of which were adapted from his scripts, sometimes with the help of others.
Durbridge married Norah Lawley in 1940, they had two sons. He died at his home in Barnes, aged 85 on 11th April 1998.