A crime novel set in a remote country house, when a harmless game turns decidedly deadly and suspicions of murder take precedence over the hero's intention of proposing marriage.
A house-party with a glittering guest-list. An imposing country estate with endless shadowy staircases and unused rooms. The breathless period between the two world wars. It's the ideal setting for the classic English murder mystery, and bringing it to perfection is the introduction in a supporting role, for the first and last time of Albert Campion, the consummate (if compulsively quipping) Gentleman Sleuth. The guests take some time to be grateful for Campion's presence; he is a bit peculiar, and they have more than enough distractions, what with various complicated love affairs, a curious ritual involving a jewelled dagger, and a deadly game of hide-and-seek. But the savvy reader will be singing hosannas from Campion's first appearance, knowing that it marks the beginning of one of the most intelligent and delightful series in the history of crime fiction. "An extremely fine tale of death in an English country house" New York Times "In Margery Allingham's hands the detective novel is transformed from a craft into an art" The Sunday Telegraph (UK) Fans of Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, and the Golden Age of British Mystery