this is the first in a series of books featuring Albert Campion as detective. Only it's almost as if this wasn't written with him in mind as the detective. The crime is solved by the doctor, Abbotshaw, and not actually by Campion (although it's possible he knows more than he lets on, but he certainly doesn't do the unveiling) Set in a Gothic pile in the country, it's a tale of a house party, a grisly ritual with a dagger and a den of thieves. the murder is committed, covered up and then the house party intimidated by the criminals. Actually, the main part of the book is how they escape the criminal gang, not so much as to who did the murder. It's an inventive one, with enough twists & turns to keep you guessing to the end (although I did have a vague inkling as to who did it - but no motive).As the first in what turns into a series, I suspect this may be atypical. But I'd be interested to see how Campion develops from here. So far he strikes me as Whimsey-esque, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.