The Fioras jewels are missing and Francesca Lisle, one of John Mannering’s (aka The Baron) neighbours, is mysteriously asked by her father to retrieve a leather holdall from underneath the floorboards and take it to him at Waterloo station. Francesca is kidnapped, however, and ends up in the River Thames. Meanwhile, Joy Lessing is also kidnapped, or so it would seem. Mannering is unwittingly involved and sets off to investigate, but cannot tell the police everything he discovers. Acting almost alone, he must somehow outwit the other players in a complex plot of deceit and duplicity, and also deal with the notorious Ephraim Scoby
Born in Surrey, England in 1908 into a poor family in which there were nine children, John Creasey grew up to be a true master story teller and international sensation. His more than 600 crime, mystery and thriller titles have now sold 80 million copies in 25 languages. These include many popular series such as Gideon of Scotland Yard, The Toff, Dr Palfrey and The Baron. Creasy wrote under many pseudonyms, explaining that booksellers had complained he totally dominated the 'C' section in stores. Never one to sit still, Creasey had a strong social conscience, and stood for Parliament several times, along with founding the One Party Alliance which promoted the idea of government by a coalition of the best minds from across the political spectrum. He was also involved with the National Savings movement; United Europe; various road safety campaigns, and famine relief. He founded the British Crime Writers' Association, which to this day celebrates outstanding crime writing. The Mystery Writers of America bestowed upon him the Edgar Award for best novel and then in 1969 the ultimate Grand Master Award. John Creasey's stories are as compelling today as ever, with one of the major factors in his success being the ability to portray characters as living - his undoubted talent being to understand and observe accurately human behaviour.