This is a classic, old-fashioned murder mystery that was first published in 1943. As such, it is written in a highly stylistic manner of a long ago era, which may take some getting used to, as it does have a definite anachronistic feel. Still, it is a stunning novel of suspense. The story revolves around Laura Hunt, a beautiful, intelligent, and independent business woman at a time in which such women were rare, indeed. She is someone to whom men are drawn, often obsessively so.
When she is apparently murdered on the eve of her marriage, Detective Mark McPherson, a hardboiled, no nonsense, virile officer of the law, is assigned the case, and he finds himself smitten the minute he sees a portrait of Laura Hunt at the scene of the crime. He is determined to bring the murderer of this lovely young woman to justice. As have all the men in Laura's life, McPherson, too, becomes obsessed with her.
McPherson goes full speed ahead, as new developments point the finger of suspicion from the least likely to the most likely suspect. Could it be Laura's handsome playboy fiancé? After all, though to the manor born, he has a decided penchant for money and other women. Could it even be Laura's long time friend, mentor, and spurned would be suitor, the effete and prissy, self-styled cynic and writer, Waldo Lydecker? Then a major, mind-boggling twist in the plot casts a new light on the evidence. Just who wanted the lovely Laura Hunt dead?
Those who enjoy old fashioned mysteries will certainly like this book, which was made into a wonderful film noir.