Mystery crime fiction written in the Golden Age of Murder
"At 8 o'clock in the evening on the 8th of November, there was a terrific explosion in Green Lane, Evingden."
The offices of the Excelsior Joinery Company have been blown to smithereens; three of the company directors are found dead amongst the rubble, and the peace of a quiet town in Surrey lies in ruins. When the supposed cause of an ignited gas leak is dismissed and the presence of dynamite revealed, Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard is summoned to the scene.
But beneath the sleepy veneer of Evingden lies a hotbed of deep-rooted grievances. The new subject of the town's talk, Littlejohn's investigation is soon confounded by an impressive cast of suspicious persons, each concealing their own axe to grind.
First published in 1964, Bellairs' novel of small-town grudges with calamitous consequences revels in the abundant possible solutions to its central, explosive crime as a masterpiece of misdirection.