'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express
Nora Deane, a young nurse, has been instructed to report to 12 Askew Avenue, Charlbury, to look after a new patient. As she steps from the station into an impenetrable blanket of fog, she is glad to accept the escort of a mysterious young man to the address.
Once alone in the darkness, she presses the bell and waits. She shivers. She wants to be inside, out of the dangers of the dark. Yet some inner voice persistently warns her not to cross the threshold of that sinister house . . .
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.