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Betty Shapley was a local beauty, for whose charms three young men fell heavily. But she never expected that her coquetry would lead to the sudden and horrifyingly brutal death of one of her admirers, the shy, inoffensive Herbert Pollitt--plus the life of a fugitive for another, Vincent Grey; as well as the role of a murder-case witness for the third, Tom Clayton. Inspector Morgan and Sergeant Claythorne of the local police investigate the death, and suspect that the now-vanished Vincent Grey, against whom the evidence seems overwhelming, was responsible. So Betty, once a pupil of Roseway College for Young Ladies, asks the forbidding Miss Maria Black--"Black Maria" the headmistress detective—to prove Grey's innocence. Another classic mystery tale, the fourth in this spellbinding series.