From the book cover…
‘From the grand dame of British crime fiction comes a delightfully wicked tale of backbiting, deception, and murder in a small university department with a most unsavory secret.
As a rule, bigamists don’t gravitate to the biochemistry department of sleepy Knotlington University, and Dr. Patrick Carey, senior lecturer, is, it would seem, no exception. Eyebrows are raised, however, when a letter addressed simply to “Professor Carey, Knotlington U.” ends up on his desk – a letter that comes, it is widely known, from a woman claiming to be Dr. Carey’s wife. Dr. Carey has abandoned her to a state of abject poverty, she claims, and she is none too happy about it.
Patrick immediately suspects the involvement of his unstable younger brother, David, a chronic liar who has been known to assume identities other than his own, and he fears trouble. Trouble duly arrives when the woman turns up on Patrick’s doorstep. Someone in the department must have given her he is address. But who among his colleagues could dislike Patrick and his wife enough to cause them such embarrassment?
Just when things seem to be settling down again, someone sets fire to Patrick’s boss’s house, and the deserted wife is found dead in the ruins, actually locked in the study. Then the boss herself is murdered, practically on Patrick’s doorstep. The key to the locked room is found in his flat, and the blunt object that killed his boss came from his own laboratory.
Could David be the killer? Or perhaps one of Patrick’s colleagues? Could at least one of the murders have been a mistake? Patrick must find out if he is to save his career and clear his brother from blame.’
Not a ‘complicated’ mystery to solve. I guessed who, but not the why. A really good, twisty, mystery with lots of good characters and possibilities for the culprit. I especially liked Patrick’s wife, Henrietta. Never disappointed with Ms. Ferrars books. Fun light read.