“Nobody would have murdered him,” Miss Lavinia cried. “Everybody liked John!”
“I’m afraid it is evident that someone did not.”
The note left beside Dr. John Bastow's corpse simply read: "It was the man with the dark beard."
Dr. Bastow hadn't approved of his daughter Hilary's fiancé. So when Hilary's father is found shot dead inside his own office, the door-key turned from the inside, the fiancé Basil Wilton becomes a chief suspect for Scotland Yard. Yet how could the crime have been engineered?
Now an important lacquered box is missing; a former colleague of Bastow's has suddenly shaved his beard; and the doctor's ex-secretary has come mysteriously into money. Before Inspector Stoddart of the Yard can form conclusions, another murder takes place, again credited to the “Man with The Dark Beard”...
The Man With the Dark Beard is the first of Annie Haynes’ Inspector Stoddart mysteries, originally published in 1928. It is a sparkling lost classic from the early golden age of crime fiction.
“This is the best detective story she has yet written.” Time and Tide.
About the Author
By the first decade of the twentieth century she lived in London and moved in literary and early feminist circles. Her first crime novel, The Bungalow Mystery, appeared in 1923, and another nine mysteries were published before her untimely death in 1929.
Who Killed Charmian Karslake? appeared posthumously, and a further partially-finished work, The Crystal Beads Murder, was completed with the assistance of an unknown fellow writer, and published in 1930.