An actress disappears in a cathedral town, leaving the author of her recent play, to find out what's going on. A major clue being a severed hand nailed to a door.
The story itself is ok, however the characters are so unlikeable it becomes a chore to read. Our detective Augustus Maltravers, and indeed most of the men in this book are surrounded by women who come out with stuff like "My God, you are a marvellous man" while clinging to their elbows. After all, that's what women do - isn't it? Yuck. Often with books with the same characters, I'm happy to pick up the next one, if they are interesting enough to overcome any story deficiencies. Here I have no inclination to spend anymore time with Maltravers and his harem.
The recommendation from P.D. James on the cover should have warned me.