'My favourite American crime-writer' New York Herald Tribune
In the quiet suburb of Santa Monica, eighty-eight-year-old Mabel Foster loses her husband to a stroke. Rather than move Mabel into a retirement home, the neighbours hire Josephine Slaney to take care of her. The immense nurse is a godsend, the cost of her help is a bargain.
Soon it becomes clear, however, that all is not right with Josephine. Mrs Foster, once bright and alert, falls quickly into a torpor and retreats into seclusion at Josephine's command. It is up to detective Dan Valentine to uncover a strange, lethal pattern among Josephine's former patients, and the race is on to stop her before she can strike again.
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'.