It's Christmas, but there isn't much Christmas spirit in the Glendale Police Department. Delia Riordan's father has just died, Detective Jim Harvey's family have left for the holidays, there are power blackouts, and of course no let-up in murders, muggings, burglaries and a perplexing triple murder/suicide.
The department's mood improves with the addition of a dog and a family of kittens to the office. Some crimes even have comic outcomes, including the burglar who is given away by a trail of wool. So it turns out to be a happy Christmas after all - except for the victims.
'My favourite American crime-writer' New York Herald Tribune
In her 67 years, California author Elizabeth Linington wrote 82 crime fiction novels, under her own name as well as the aliases Anne Blaisdell, Lesley Egan, Egan O'Neill and Dell Shannon. Her writing evolved from the early radio and stage dramas, via historical narratives, to her most celebrated novels - mysteries. She was nominated for Edgars in 1961, 1962 and 1963 for Case Pending, Nightmare and Knave of Hearts respectively. Her most successful creation, debonair LAPD Lieutenant Luis Mendoza, broke new ground in being one of the first Latino police officers in the procedural genre, and Linington herself was a pioneer in a male-dominated industry, earning the moniker 'Queen of the Procedurals'.