- By Leo Bruce
- First published: UK: W.H. Allen, 1964; US: Scribner, 1979
Carolus Deene investigates a series of killings in the dank and dismal suburb of Albert Park by soaking up the atmosphere and conducting serial interviews. Features the grotesque Heatherwell and a parody of Modernist plays, but the plot is a variation on Christie’s The ABC Murders.
A Catalogue of Crime (Barzun & Taylor, 1989): In a dreary southeast suburb of London a series of motiveless killings occurs—two women stabbed in succession being enough to spread panic in the district. The police are at a loss, but before the third murder Deene gets interested in the shadowy figure who soon gets known as The Stabber. Deene adroitly puts his headmaster in a cleft stick—i.e., of facilitating another murder if he prevents his staff member from helping the investigation. It consists almost wholly of questioning, but the people and the talk are so good that the result is surprisingly full of suspense and variety, heightened by a keen sense of abnormal psychology—a first-rate story.
N.B., however, a dubious statement of disbelief in double personality.