This was Marsh's first detective story, written as a pleasant diversion in 1932. As such, it's really quite impressive, although not up to the standard of her later books. The plot is very conventional - a Murder Game producing a genuine corpse - but the solution is clever and original, and the murderer comes across as pitiable, rather than evil. The only thing that spoiled the book for me was the introduction of a silly sub-plot involving members of a Russian brotherhood: this sort of thing belongs to the spy thriller,not the classical detective story. Marsh's detective, the urbane, public-school educated Inspector Alleyn, is a pleasant change from the "ordinary" plodding policeman preferred by many writers of the time. Less successful, however, is her creation of a "Watson" figure in the shape of journalist Nigel Bathgate, a completely stereotypical young Englishman. Thankfully, he is absent from most of her later novels.