|The Eight of Swords
PB: Detective Novel Classics 32 (1944)-abridged
First US unabridged: Berkley G-48 (1957)
Synopsis (of abridged version):
Dr. Fell, detective extraordinary, is back again, more amusing and omniscient than ever. In The Eight of Swords he is faced with the sort of problem in which his acute and devious mind delights.
When a gay spirit took to playing strange pranks in the haunted bedroom at the Grange and the Bishop was seen sliding down the banisters, Scotland Yard was more amused than disturbed. But when Depping, the harmless old scholar and connoisseur of wines and foods, was found murdered in his study, they sent Dr. Fell down to investigate. As soon as Dr. Fell saw the card representing the eight of swords, the partially eaten dinner on the tray, and the button-hook which had been used to blow the fuses, he knew the murderer. But there was a great deal to be explained before he could prove it, and his solution will remain a classic example of deductive reasoning combined with thrilling plot. The book is also filled with a subtle type of humor that makes it something different in the way of detective novels.