“Why is it,” Barclay Curle grumbles to his agent Jonah, “that all the regional Edinburgh detectives have monosyllabic first names like Jack and Bob?” Then Curle publishes his newest book – about an Edinburgh detective called Doug – inciting a letter from an anonymous admirer accusing him of stealing the murders she’s committed. Fact and fiction become increasingly inseparable when a dead woman is found, murdered by the method favoured by the serial killer in Curle’s novel.
For Detective Inspector Meldrum – first name Jim – Curle seems the most obvious suspect. Faced with a second murder and a darkening cloud of suspicion, Curle decides to take action. After all, who has more experience of solving murder mysteries than a crime novelist?