"'... an extremely accomplished first novel...'"
It is the last week of the run of Josephine Tey’s play, Richard of Bordeaux, in London’s West End. To mark the celebrations of a marvellous run, Josephine travels to London from Scotland. On the train she meets a young woman called Elspeth Simmons who has seen the play many times and views Tey as a heroine of some sort. While down in London, Elspeth plans to see the play one last time that week with a secret admirer.
On arriving at Paddington, Tey, enchanted by the girl’s innocent quality, tells her to come backstage and offers to introduce Elspeth to the cast. Sadly, the next day Josephine hears of the girl’s murder on the very platform she had left her on. It seems Elspeth was murdered within minutes of Tey leaving her. Soon Tey finds that Elspeth’s sinister death has permutations that echo around the theatre where her own play is showing. What is the connection between this sweet Scottish girl and a play that is coming to a close?
Tey’s friend and admirer, Detective Inspector Archie Penrose, is on the case and soon another murder that also strikes too close to home for Tey means that she becomes involved with a state of affairs going back many years to the Great War...