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Malcolm Warren, a young but valetudinarian stockbroker, is looking forward to a dull weekend when a telegram summons him to stay with his capricious old Aunt Catherine, who has shocked the family by marrying Hannibal Cartwright, a muscular garage owner many years her junior. Gleeful at the prospect of profit, Malcolm hurries to her bedside. But when his aunt resorts to her bottle labelled ‘Le Secret de Venus’ he finds that, instead of a gilt-edged portfolio, he is landed with a file of family skeletons. The resulting saga is retailed with a dry humour that reads as well now as it did on first publication in 1929.
‘Kitchin’s knowledge of the crevices of human nature lifts his crime fiction out of the category of puzzledom and into the realm of the detective novel. He was, in short, ahead of his day.’ H. R. F. Keating
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