A mystery story of thrilling and steadily tenser interest.
There is a delicious snugness, a charming lack of formality, about the ceremony of afternoon tea in an English country-house--it is much too indefinite a rite to dignify it by the name of meal--which makes it the most pleasant reunion of the day. For English country-house parties consist, for the most part, of a succession of meals to which the guests flock the more congenially as, in the interval, they have contrived to avoid one another's companionship.
And so, scarcely had the last reverberation of Bude's measured gonging died away than the French window leading from the lounge-hall on to the terrace was pushed open and two of Hartley Parrish's guests emerged from the falling darkness without into the pleasant comfort of the firelit room.
They were an oddly matched pair. The one was a tubby little man with short bristly grey
What begins quite conventionally as a country house weekend marred by murder slowly develops into a headlong thriller of international espionage. In spite of the fragment quoted above, the young lady shows quite a bit of spunk and initiative before the crime is solved and the villains brought to justice. I picked this at random with no expectations, and the first few chapters don't give much indication of the pace and dynamics of what follows, but I stuck with it and found it quite entertaining.