An obscure masterpiece in the world of locked room mysteries with a meticulously planned-out crime that will delight the discerning detective story fan.
The original inside flap advert reads:
This brilliant first novel contains an original twist of plot that will be a tremendous relief to readers tired of the modern run of detective stories. They had found Laurence Vining, the famous criminologist, dead in the lift at the Hyde Park Tube station, a Malay kris buried in his back. The attendant swore no one had been in the lift with Vining. The skillful elaboration of incident and the minute working out of every detail will completely baffle the reader striving so hard to answer for himself the question "Who killed Laurence Vining?"
Laurence Vining was a respected amateur detective who sometimes helped Scotland Yard to solve difficult cases. Just as Sherlock Holmes had Watson, Vining had Dr. Benjamin Willing as a good friend, confidant, and sounding board. Vining just solved a months-old murder mystery, the "Shop Murder" case. Sometime after the "Shop Murder" trial, which ended in the death sentence of the perpetrator, Vining was found dead, stabbed with a knife in the back, in an otherwise completely empty elevator. The elevator men at the top and bottom attested to the fact that Vining was the only person in the lift. Vining was alive when he entered the lift. When the lift arrived at the bottom, Vining was dead. How was this possible? Suicide was quickly ruled out by the position the dead body was found in and no fingerprints on the knife in the back. It is up to Detective Inspector Widgeon from Scotland Yard to solve the mystery. Dr. Willing offers his assistance due to his friendship of Vining and all the knowledge and information he is able to provide about Vining. Widgeon gladly accepts Willing's assistance ...
"All who enjoy a detailed investigation (complete with plans) must read this book at once." - Nation
"A good detective story ... the crime is extraordinarily ingenious and the solution satisfying." - Sphere
"Admirably written and full of incidental humour and charm." - Spectator
1st edition 1928, 313 pages; PDF 164 pages.
word count: 70580 which is equivalent to 282 standard pages of text