Private detective and poet Nigel Strangeways is staying at Cabot University, an Ivy League university near Boston, while he undertakes some research. There he encounters the Ahlberg brothers - Chester, Assistant Senior Tutor in the Business School, Mark, who lectures in the English Faculty and their half-brother, Josiah, a professor of Classics.
When one of the brothers is found murdered, the local police request Nigel's help in catching the killer, but little does Nigel know just how close he is to the murderer.
Nicholas Blake was the pseudonym of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, who was born in County Laois, Ireland in 1904. After his mother died in 1906, he was brought up in London by his father, spending summer holidays with relatives in Wexford. He was educated at Sherborne School and Wadham College, Oxford, from which he graduated in 1927. Blake initially worked as a teacher to supplement his income from his poetry writing and he published his first Nigel Strangeways novel, A Question of Proof, in 1935.
Blake went on to write a further nineteen crime novels, all but four of which featured Nigel Strangeways, as well as numerous poetry collections and translations. During the Second World War he worked as a publications editor in the Ministry of Information, which he used as the basis for the Ministry of Morale in Minute for Murder, and after the war he joined the publishers Chatto & Windus as an editor and director. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1968 and died in 1972 at the home of his friend, the writer Kingsley Amis.