This author must have been one of the most prolific writers ever known - writing under at least 3 pseudonyms, he produced approximately 4 crime/detective novels per year from 1925-1961, as well as other non-detective novels, and also wrote short stories and other writings before 1925. This book appeared in 1946, at the midpoint of this productive flow. It features Desmond Merrion as the investigator, and is set in a fictional village not far from a seaport and a county town, providing plenty of scope for different locations and scenarios. It now appears to be one of the rarer titles to survive - and interestingly, the novelist Elizabeth Bowen published a work under the exact same title only 3 years later.
Cecil John Charles Street, MC, OBE (1884–1964), known to his colleagues, family and friends as John Street (and to his readers as, variously, Miles Burton, John Rhode or Cecil Way) was an artillery officer in the British army. During the course of WWI, he became a propagandist for MI7, holding the rank of Major. After the Armistice, he alternated between Dublin and London during the Irish War of Independence as Information Officer for Dublin Castle. After leaving the Army he earned his living as a prolific writer of detective novels.
Our copy sadly lacks its dust jacket, but nevertheless is in generally good condition for its age, bound in red cloth with title etc in plain black letters on the spine. The exterior is somewhat age-worn, with a few small stains, some fading of the spine and edges, and bumping/bending of corners, but there is no frank damage to the cloth binding, and inside, the binding is generally firm, there is no foxing, and apart from slight weaknesses at pp.144-45 and 176-77, the book appears little read. Pages are clean and bright. A neat ink-written gift inscription is on the front pastedown, and the back pastedown has a small stain at the outer edge.