The exciting original of the Hitchcock film classic.
Iris Carr was young, wealthy, attractive – and bored. Despairing of her society friends, tired of skiing with the crowd, she decides to return to England alone by train. But she hadn’t bargained for the extraordinary Miss Froy – a lively, gossipy spinster who is determined to befriend her, nor had she expected Miss Froy’s sudden disappearance.
Certain that she has not imagined so bizarre a character, and outraged by the blank faces of the passengers who deny her existence, Iris vows to find her companion, unaware of the terrifying trail ahead, so wildly different from her notion of a comfortable journey home.
Helen Capel takes the position of lady-help in a remote country house owned by the Warren family and, before long, learns that a murderer is on the loose. All four of his victims were young girls, and the last of these was strangled in a lonely house just five miles away. Helen feels safe inside the house, protected, but the maniac is closer than she fears.
When a woman’s body is found by the Thames river police, floating opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, it doesn’t take DCI Brock long to work out that she has been murdered.
Further investigation reveals the woman was one of a stable of prostitutes run by a shadowy figure wanted in his native Australia. But the investigation presses other names upon Brock and Poole, and they must suffer several missed turns and pay the price for their assumptions before they get their man.
When the milkman alerts police to two bodies at the fashionable Hampstead home of Andrew and Kim Light, it seems obvious who the deceased are . . . until Mr Light walks through the door.
Just who is the other man? Is Andrew Light as innocent as he’d like to appear, or does his smooth lawyer’s manner hide a cruel and callous character? As the investigation develops, it becomes clear that there are far more sinister forces at work, and a frightening character has infiltrated the fashionable world of Hampstead.
PC John Bragg is young and full of ambition, and with his eye on making Superintendent one day, he squares up to each case that comes his way as an opportunity to show himself brave, reliable and a good detective. In town and country, at scenes of murder, robbery, fraud, abduction, military and industrial spying and arson, PC John Bragg’s character grows as his mettle is tested.
From dealing with artists’ models in a murder case, to ensuring a bejewelled, high-spirited American heiress doesn’t attract the wrong sort of attention, to protecting the pay destined for a staff of quarrymen, PC Bragg has his work cut out for him.
A baker’s dozen of stories from the Golden Age master of the police procedural: seven from the casebook of Detective Inspector John Poole, whose brilliant work in the The Duke of York’s Steps and No Friendly Drop will be remembered by readers of Wade novels; and six miscellaneous narratives of crime and detection, all of them displaying the scientific ingenuity which distinguishes Wade’s work.
Harborough is a large seaside town on the north-east coast of England, whose local paper, the Harborough Post, mounts a campaign against the city’s funfairs. Soon the proprietor of the newspaper, Herbert Litmore, gets two anonymous threatening letters, which he takes to the Chief Constable. Then Litmore’s ten-year-old son, Ben, is kidnapped on his way home from the city Youth Club.
Another letter to Litmore follows, demanding a £10,000 ransom . . .
A search is begun to locate Litmore’s mysterious enemy, and the police investigation starts to unravel a web of greed, jealousy, adultery and blackmail that has formed beneath Harborough’s quiet surface.
Charles Rathlyn has everything – a benefactress, a rich wife and a comfortable country life. But while riding to hounds one day he takes a terrible spill, and, on reviving, finds himself looking into a pair of beautiful brown eyes. He knows he has fallen once again . . . in love.
But are his fall and those soft brown eyes linked to another fall – the fatal plunge his wife, Kate takes over the banister to the parquet floor below, supposedly while sleepwalking?
Did she fall or was she pushed? Kate Rathlyn’s death begins an investigation into blackmail and murder among the sporting set.
Hector Berrenton returns home from hospital after a serious car accident to find a terse note: San Podino. This is yours. Fallon next.
Suspecting Berrenton’s car has been tampered with, the North Sussex Police call in Scotland Yard. Chief Inspector John Poole, put in charge of the investigation, quickly discovers that three years earlier Berrenton and his partner, Jocelyn Fallon, had been on trial accused of fraud. The crime they were accused of was in connection with a Bolivian goldmine, San Podino, and though the two men were acquitted, a number of investors suffered considerable financial loss.
Soon Inspector Poole is dealing with attempted murder . . .
Colonel Jerrod has just six months to live, but he needs a year if he is to save Brackton, the family estate, from crippling death duties. Then his ambitious son, Grant, has an idea, one that involves Colonel Jerrod’s carefree brother, Philip, and which develops into a complicated fraud that, he hopes, will safeguard Brackton for future generations.
But there is a boating accident, in which Colonel Jerrod is believed drowned, and a visit at Brackton from the Inland Revenue to clear up some routine questions . . . Before long, Chief Inspector Poole finds himself drawn into the investigation with questions of his own.
Detective Constable Henry Campion turns lone avenger when his childhood friend and colleague DC Fred Jordan is shot dead by a gangster who is spared the death sentence. And Campion is convinced there were two killers. To try to catch the second, Campion goes undercover as a spiv in a King’s Cross nightclub, the Full Moon.
But Campion’s adventures at the Full Moon draw him deeper into gangland, and closer to the woman of his dreams – his dead friend’s widow . . .
But is it love, or is Anne Jordan using Campion for her own ends?
Aylwin Hundrych is a diplomat with political aspirations, who was once involved with a French girl, Antoinette, with whom he unwittingly shared details about a royal visit to Paris – details which put the King’s life in danger. Antoinette’s brother holds the former lovers’ letters, and is threatening to use them. Hundrych makes a first payment, but the demands continue.
Hundrych enlists his old friend Sir Vane Tabbard’s son, an ex-commando called Gray Tabbard, who is not too scrupulous about what he does. Gray searches the blackmailer’s apartment, but reports back that he cannot find a particularly compromising note.
And Gray is in love with the girl Hundrych plans to marry . . .