This is the first in a series of mysteries, set in the 1930s, starring Superintendent Hannasyde from New Scotland Yard. He has his work cut out for him. The suspects don't appear to want to help prove their innocence, but rather add to the confusion by coming up with their own motives and guilty parties or fudging on their own alibis.
After the dead body of Arnold Vereker is found imprisoned in the stocks on Ashleigh Green with a knife in his back, suspects abound. There is Kenneth who stands to inherit his half-brother's fortune. Kenneth's fiancée, Violet, is a bit of a gold-digger so she certainly had motive. Or perhaps the murderer is Kenneth's sister Antonia who was in the village the night of the murder and had a bone to pick with Arnold. Another suspect is Antonia's fiancé Rudolph Mesurier who was chief accountant for the dead man's firm and was caught 'borrowing' funds.
But then again, one can't discount Arnold's brother Roger who was presumed dead but shows up just in time to collect his inheritance thereby shoving aside Kenneth who was first in line for the loot.
After a second murder (I love a second murder - it sweetens the pot!), the truth comes out and the case ends up being solved by Giles Carrington, solicitor for the dead man. Giles is in love with Antonia so he has a vested interest in keeping her out of jail and helping to find the real murderer.
One really can't go wrong with Georgette Heyer mysteries. The stories are deftly plotted, the characters are amusing, and the conversations sparkle. Plus, the book covers are gorgeous.
Perfect bedtime reading.