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A model detective story . . . fascinating. -- -- New York Times
The Wimsey books are literate and delightful mysteries. -- -- Chicago Tribune
The end of this story is as ingenious as any solution could be. -- Times Literary Supplement
Mystery novelist Harriet Vane knew all about poisons, and when her fiance died in the manner prescribed in one of her books, a jury of her peers had a hangman's noose in mind. But Lord Peter Wimsey was determined to find her innocent--as determined as he was to make her his wife.
The mystery writer Harriet Vane, recovering from an unhappy love affair and its aftermath, seeks solace on a barren beach -- deserted but for the body of a bearded young man with his throat cut. From the moment she photographs the corpse, which soon disappears with the tide, she is puzzled by a mystery that might have been suicide, murder or a political plot. With the appearance of her dear friend Lord Peter Wimsey, she finds a reason for detective pursuit -- as only the two of them can pursue it.
The wealthy old woman was dead -- a trifle sooner than expected. The intricate trail of horror and senseless murder led from a beautiful hampshire village to a fashionable London flat and a deliberate test of amour -- staged by the debonair sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. Here the modern detective story begins to come to its own; and all the historical importance aside, it remains an absorbing and charming story today.