'No author is more skilled at making a good story seem brilliant' Sunday Express
It began with the theatre - and ended with drugs, blackmail and a decades old crime...
Classic crime from one of the greats of the Detection Club
Major John Hillier is found dead in his flat, early one morning, in strange circumstances. Inspector Field traces the dead man's last movements and learns that, after breaking up a dinner party, he visited a remote suburban theatre to see a leading lady he didn't even know by sight.
Field traces the Major's history back some years and finds himself entangled in a net of underworld intrigue in England and further afield. Drugs, blackmail and a crime years old all play their part in an affair that starts to attract wide attention.
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.