Belle Haley travels with her mother and younger sister from Bath to London to inspect the house her murdered fiancé, Graham, left her in his will. The house has been ransacked and the mystery deepens when Desmond Maitland, an insurance broker, takes an interest in both the house and Belle. Belle also constitutes herself moral guardian for her mother and sister when Graham’s aunt introduces them to some less than genteel male companions. Graham’s cousin, Eliot, is suspicious of Maitland’s motives and it is up to the resourceful Belle to try and solve the mystery.
The plotting is handled with assurance and there are some deft touches of historical colour. The dialogue between Belle and Desmond has the right amount of flirtation, suspicion and rapport. The romantic passages are less convincing with Belle turning to a “quivering blancmange” in Desmond’s arms. Closer attention at the editing stage should have amended expressions such as New Year’s and other North Americanisms, but these do not detract unduly from a good tale, generally well told.