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A movie star whose fame is on the decline - but did he take his own life or did someone else have an axe to grind?
Classic crime from one of the greats of the Detection Club
Eight years ago Rene Tessier was at the height of his fame. Now the once-celebrated film star frequents less reputable Parisian cafes. That is until young producer Julian Lane plans to star Tessier in his latest production with the promise of millions.
Tessier is headed to London. But the washed-up old man spends less than 24 hours in a dingy Soho hotel before he is found dead. Was it suicide or murder? And who could have wanted Tessier dead?
Anthony Gilbert was the pen name of Lucy Beatrice Malleson. Born in London, she spent all her life there, and her affection for the city is clear from the strong sense of character and place in evidence in her work. She published 69 crime novels, 51 of which featured her best known character, Arthur Crook, a vulgar London lawyer totally (and deliberately) unlike the aristocratic detectives, such as Lord Peter Wimsey, who dominated the mystery field at the time. She also wrote more than 25 radio plays, which were broadcast in Great Britain and overseas. Her thriller The Woman in Red (1941) was broadcast in the United States by CBS and made into a film in 1945 under the title My Name is Julia Ross. She was an early member of the British Detection Club, which, along with Dorothy L. Sayers, she prevented from disintegrating during World War II. Malleson published her autobiography, Three-a-Penny, in 1940, and wrote numerous short stories, which were published in several anthologies and in such periodicals as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and The Saint. The short story 'You Can't Hang Twice' received a Queens award in 1946. She never married, and evidence of her feminism is elegantly expressed in much of her work.