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As always, Jesse Falkenstein and Sergeant Clock have a score of cases on their hands, but Jesse is mainly interested in the murder of Margaret Brandon, a trance medium. He was her lawyer and liked her, and someone had gone to great efforts to make her death seem accidental.

But with so many suspects – the egocentric writer, the young lout, the nephew in line for an inheritance – both Falkenstein and Clock are at their wit’s end until their old acquaintance Mr Walker sends his comments from Hawaii – which might be just what they need to get a lead . . .

‘My favourite American crime-writer’ New York Herald Tribune