|cover courtesy of Book Scans|
Prudence Whitsby and Asey Mayo team up once again to get to the bottom of a murder on Cape Cod. And there is no shortage of trouble around that March. Prudence accepts an invitation from Rowena Kible to the Cape in order to give her a break from Boston. They are then summoned to join a house-warming party across the street--a new mansion owned by Adelbert Stires. The party no more than gets started when some serious snow begins to fall. And where is their host? The small group of guests, their servants, and local handyman, Asey Mayo, are all trapped by the snowstorm--cut off from the world outside. But then Bert Stires manages to show up on foot. He is wet and cold and more than 24 hours overdue from when he left Boston, but no one thinks to ask where he's been or what happened to him. They will have missed their chance, because the next morning he is discovered in his locked bedroom, dead. The doctor proclaims death by poisoning, probably arsenic. But almost everyone is found to have arsenic among his or her possessions. And there are just about as many people with reasons to want Stires dead.
It's then that Asey takes charge of the investigation. Since his first outing in The Cape Cod Mystery, Asey has been elected as sheriff and he now has a badge to give him more authority in his labors. The snow piles up deeper and deeper and so do the questions. How was the arsenic administered? And by whose hand? As the book's title would suggest, there is a candle involved and Asey must decide how that light figures into the mystery before he can bring the crime home to culprit.
I am happy to say that since borrowing Richard's copy, I have managed to find my very own copy of the Pocket Book edition. I'm no longer tempted to wander down to his office in the English Department and commit a bit of petty thievery....