The main action of this mystery occurs in a small apartment house, which has apartments for only six families. Of necessity these people are clearly acquainted, and an epidemic of fear runs through them all as some unknown poison pen writer with an amazing knowledge of the skeletons in all six family closets, begins a steady campaign that neglects no one in the building except Michael Dundas, the enigmatic newest occupant—a campaign climaxed by the murder of Maxine Farley, who before going to meet her murderer, had drawn a sketch of a man in the fanciful court costume of Charles the first, leaving the face blank. The sketch bore the caption in Maxine’s handwriting: “Death comes at last, like a dark cavalier.”
It was Michael Dundas who discovered some of the details of Maxine’s relations with men and interpreted he wording of a telegram in an original manner. He also learned of an old hotel key, but not in time to prevent a whining dog from leading him to a second murder—a murder which was indirectly to cause the killer’s undoing.
In this book Virginia Rath has again demonstrated her splendid ability to create plots which depend upon character rather than a mechanical formula. Her people are real people; their problems and fears are genuine. Here is a plausible, realistic mystery story which should please even the most fastidious reader.
The Dark Cavalier was published in 1938.
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