A ship sails to South Africa - a body is found on the dockside clutching a scrap of an embarkation document. It is obviously the work of the singing, flower-scattering serial killer who has struck twice before and, presumably, is now aboard the retreating liner. Roderick Alleyn joins the ship at Portsmouth and this is the beginning of a classic Golden Age mystery with a limited list of suspects and a detective hamstrung by an uncooperative captain.
This is not one of Ngaio's greatest but it is eminently more readable than the dire "When in Rome" and is an interesting insight into an austere time when passengers on a liner were quite happy to be offered instant coffee. It is also interesting to see the prototype profile of a serial killer.