An eager London crowd awaits the trial of Victoria Lamartine, hotel worker, ex-French Resistance fighter, and the only logical suspect for the murder of her supposed lover, Major Eric Thoseby. Lamartine—who once escaped from the clutches of the Gestapo—is set to meet her end at the gallows.
One final opportunity remains: the defendant calls on solicitor Nap Rumbold to replace the defence counsel,and grants an eight-day reprieve from the proceedings. Without any time to spare, Rumbold boards a ferry across the Channel, tracing the roots of the brutal murder back into the war-torn past.
This story makes me smile every time I think about it. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I even refused to make dinner for the family one night just so I could finish it. This is the Golden Age of Mystery’s version of John Grisham. The story is part courtroom drama and part thriller. As Macrea and Rumbold senior manage the courtroom drama, Rumbold junior is traipsing across France, evading enemies, as he works to uncover the truth about Victoria Lamartine’s history. Victoria is a damsel in distress and these lawyers will risk their lives their lives, if necessary, to see her found not guilty. The characters are wonderful, the plot has enough twists to keep the reader guessing, and the lawyers have a few Perry Mason tricks up their sleeves. Definitely a classic!