“Strangeness is a recommendation to me, you know.”
“I was depending on that.”
After his recent stint in the army intelligence service, literary detective Henry Gamadge is sure he’ll never be surprised by anything again. That’s before he is hired by Harriet Clayborn Leeder to supervise the opening of a sealed room in her family home. The Clayborns expect the room to contain their long-awaited inheritance: a jar of buttons.
“Just do me one favor…Don’t get interested in my affairs. Three people dead in two days, two suicides and one probable murder. Keep away from me, will you? You’re poison.”
Normally, literary detective Henry Gamadge wouldn’t take on this kind of job, a simple appraisal of correspondence. He’s willing to make an exception when the letters belonged to Paul Bradlock. An iconic author of the Lost Generation, Bradlock outlived his time and died in obscurity at a young age. In fact, Gamadge seems to recall that he died of violence. But there was too much going on in the world in 1945 for anyone to pay attention to a has-been like Bradlock.
Maybe they should have, as his papers may hold the clue to a lost Chaucer manuscript. Gamadge finds himself juggling Bradlock’s murder, a suicide that might not be, and the search for a potentially priceless document. What began as a routine job has turned deadly.