After a rich man’s death, heirs start to squabble - and die.
When Conrad Stanley dies, Laura is the only heir not concerned with her slice of his estate. Orphaned at a young age, she was Stanley’s ward, and cannot celebrate the death of the only father she ever knew.
The executors of Stanley’s will find that he had a Polish relative, Conrad Stanislowski, who is due part of the inheritance. A search for Stanislowski produces only his daughter: eight-year-old Jonny, who comes to Chicago to live with Laura. Soon a man claiming to be Stanislowski turns up at Laura’s doorstep, demanding his daughter and his chunk of Stanley’s wealth. When the mysterious interloper is found stabbed to death, Laura is a suspect. If she doesn’t move fast, the only inheritance she gets from dear, departed Conrad will be a permanent stay in a federal prison.
“A nice example of [Eberhart’s] powers ... Intelligently complicated.” - The New Yorker.
“One of the best mystifiers in America.” - Gertrude Stein.
“A weaver of mysteries that ... are something more than mere jig-saw puzzles.” - The New York Times.
“A star writer.” - H. R. F. Keating, author of Crime and Mystery: The 100 Best Books.
Mignon G. Eberhart (1899–1996) wrote dozens of mystery novels over nearly sixty years. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, she began writing in high school, swapping English essays with her fellow students in exchange for math homework. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, and in the 1920s began writing fiction in her spare time, publishing her first novel, The Patient in Room 18, in 1929. With the follow-up, While the Patient Slept (1931), she won a $5,000 Scotland Yard Prize, and by the end of the 1930s she was one of the most popular female mystery writers on the planet.
Before Agatha Christie ever published a Miss Marple novel, Eberhart wrote romantic crime fiction with female leads. Eight of her books, including While the Patient Slept and Hasty Wedding (1938), were adapted for film. Elected a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master in 1971, Eberhart continued publishing roughly a book a year until the 1980s. Her final novel, Three Days for Emeralds, was published in 1988.