When insurance assessor John Piper calls at the Daveys' flat in Hampstead, he has no idea that his visit will turn out to be anything but an ordinary professional appointment. But it would seem that someone else had already visited Flat 2A that Saturday afternoon.... Shortly after Piper's arrival, Pauline Davey is found brutally stabbed, apparently during her afternoon nap. The bloody scissors on her pillow hint at what has happened even before the covers are pulled back to reveal the once lovely body, horribly mutilated. All the evidence points to murder and the police are looking hard at Julian Davey. Piper and his friend, crime reporter Quinn, begin poking around, and in the process Davey's alibi is shot full of holes.
Persisting in their inquiries, the two men soon uncover an adulterous love triangle among neighbours, a group of Pauline's wealthy friends with a penchant for gambling, and a general unwillingness by all concerned to answer any questions. The actions of Piper and Quinn apparently make the murderer uncomfortable, for more deaths follow as they come closer to discovering the truth. Soon Piper and Quinn are off again with a new set of problems, too many suspects with too many possible motives, and a dangerous killer on the loose who will stop at nothing to prevent the discovery of his identity.
I bought this audiobook because Napoleon Ryan is one or my favorite narrators. I had not heard of Harry Carmichael but have since learned he was a prolific mystery writer and this book is a part of a series which began about 20 years earlier in 1952. The main character is John Piper, an insurance assessor. I didn't realize of the 4 books available on Audible, Naked to the Grave is the most recent, but I don't think it really matters. I intend to purchase the other 3 books.
The narration may take some getting used to - for one thing, Napoleon Ryan has a very deep voice. In this book he reads rather slowly and deliberately, especially for some of the dialogue. That wasn't a problem for me, in fact I enjoyed the unusual pace. It seemed to suit the characters.
The first murder has already occurred when the book begins. The story is mainly told in dialogue as Piper, Quinn the reporter, and the police detective work together to analyze events. The book is only about 6 and a half hours, which was probably good since once I started listening I didn't want to stop.
I highly recommend this book and am anxiously awaiting my next credit so I can buy more from the series.
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