Dr.Thornedyke’s methods of detection are characterised by investigations of apparently irrelevant facts and lengthy explanations of his train of hypothetical reasoning. In this novel, Dr. Thorndyke’s ability to identify fish scales and rope material sets his investigation in motion. The crime is the murder of an aristocrat staged to look like a suicide. There are really two stories alternating, which eventually become one. We watch Dr. Thorndyke follow a thin and improbable trail of forensic evidence. And we observe the seemingly unrelated adventures of a stationer’s delivery boy, who innocently gets in the way of a cutthroat gang. Dr. Thorndyke calls Jasper after hearing his amazing story. The complex, gripping and rather romantic plot once again demonstrates the greatness of A. Austin Freeman as a writer of totally engaging and original crime fiction.