'McCloy has always resembled the best writers of the Sayers-Blake-Allingham school' New York Times
Girzel Graeme looked on her father as the embodiment of all that was wise and good. But now her father lay in a hospital hovering between life and death, and the evil that struck him down reached out to claim his daughter.
What terrifying secret did her father's past conceal? What horrifying act could he have committed? And what nameless danger threatened his daughter as she followed the lure of a fabulous jewel into a labyrinth of deceit, on the trail of a mysterious man who could save her faith in her father - or destroy both it and her.
Helen Worrell Clarkson McCloy (1904-1994)
Born in New York City, Helen McCloy was educated in Brooklyn, at the Quaker Friends' school, and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1927-1932 she worked for Hearst's Universal News Service after which she freelanced as an art critic and contributor to various publications, including theLondon Morning Post. Shortly after her return to the US she published her first novel, Dance of Death, in 1933, featuring her popular series detective-psychologist Basil Willing. The novel Through a Glass Darkly, a puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, is the eighth in the Basil Willing series and is generally acknowledged to be her masterpiece. In 1946 McCloy married fellow author Davis Dresser, famed for his Mike Shayne novels. Together they founded Halliday & McCloy literary agency as well as the Torquil Publishing Company. The couple had one daughter, Chloe, and their marriage ended in 1961. In 1950 Helen McCloy became the first woman president of the Mystery Writers of America and in 1953 she was awarded an Edgar by the same organisation for her criticism. In 1987, critic and mystery writer H. R. F. Keating included her Basil Willing title Mr Splitfoot in a list of the 100 best crime and mystery books ever published.