nt. I should say, in the neighborhood of one o'clock, but of course we can't be absolutely certain."
Gaunt had approached the body, and was passing his fingers lightly and thoroughly over it.
"No doubt about robbery being the motive?" he asked, as he worked.
"Oh, no," the Inspector put in, easily. "No weapon found, window open, tracks before window in the carpet and on the curtains, and Mr. Appleton's jewelry and money gone."
"I understand." Gaunt bent and sniffed the powder-blackened shirt about the wound. "Looks as if Mr. Appleton might have recognized, or thought he recognized, the thief, doesn't it, when he let him get as near as he did to shoot him, without attempting to get on his feet, or make any outcry?"
'"Maybe he did jump to his feet, and fell back again when he was shot?" suggested the Inspector, thoughtfully.
"Hardly, seeing the way he was clutching the arms of the chair. Even death didn't release that vise-like grip. He might have clutched his breast whe
Damon Gaunt is an interesting Sherlock Holmes-style detective, with a twist. He's blind, and performs his deductions with his other senses. As with Holmes, though, after a while the amazement with which the other characters greet his discoveries (particularly those which don't apply to the case, somebody's rheumatism, for example) and his explanations for them get a little tiresome. Seeking the murderer of an unpleasant rich man, he ultimately clears out all the red herrings, and discovers a distressing truth. (Unfortunately, this version of the book is full of typos and scanning errors.)
A fairly silly and guessable whodunnit. However the writing isn't bad. The device of a blind detective adds a certain sensuality to the text - not least where the female characters are concerned - given the importance of touch, sound and smell to his investigations. The qualities and scents of hair, perfumes, furs and the rustle of petticoats punctuate the drama. A pity that the ebook has numerous typos and scannos.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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