is 1936. Lord and Lady Peter Wimsey, returned from a European honeymoon, are settling into their new home in London, where daily life is affected by the illness and then death of the king. They become slightly acquainted with Laurence Harwell, a wealthy theatrical ‘angel’ and his beautiful wife, whom he has rescued from poverty following her rich father’s disgrace and imprisonment. The Harwells are famously still devoted to one another, and when she is found dead at their weekend cottage in the country Wimsey is asked to help interview the distraught husband, and becomes involved with the investigation. Suspicion falls on a writer known to have been in love with Mrs Harwell, and a talented but bohemian painter who had been working on portraits of both Lady Wimsey and the murdered woman. Two men who knew Mrs Harwell’s father in prison, and who have been blackmailing him with threats to harm her, are also suspected.
Sayers began writing this, her thirteenth Lord Peter Wimsey novel i 1936 then laid it aside. When a fragment, forgotten for decades, was found in her agent’s safe, the trustees of the Sayers estate decided to ask distinguished novelist Jill Paton Walsh to complete it. The result is an accomplished and ingenious novel, worthy of the mistress of the golden age of the crime novel.