The country house party is hosted by Mr. Mark Ablett-with the able assistance of a household of servants and his personal aide, Mr. Cayley. The guests include a Major, an actress, a mother and grown daughter and Bill Beverly, "a cheerful young man in white flannel trousers and a blazer." All the guests are going off to play golf...Mr. Ablett is staying home. He is expecting an unlooked for and unwanted visit from his "wastrel" brother, Robert - unexpectedly back from Australia.
There's one more person to introduce, rather an important one for the story, Mr. Antony Gillingham-a friend of Bill Beverly, who, being in the neighborhood, decides to stop by and say hello at the Red House. At his arrival he is greeted by a rather strange scene, a man is beating on a closed door and calling:
"Open the door, I say. Open the door!"
"Hallo!" says Antony in amazement.
Cayley looked round suddenly at the voice.
"Can I help?" said Antony politely.
"Something's happened," said Cayley. He was breathing quickly. "I heard a shot-it sounded like a shot-I was in the library."
Well, have you guessed it yet? No, not the solution to the mystery...the identity of our amateur detective...yes, its Tony with the help of his friend, Bill. The unraveling of the mystery is worked out by Antony in a rather Sherlock Holmes - let me think and tell you, Bill, what I think - sort of way. (In fact, there are lots of Bill is Watson to Antony's Sherlock little jokes in the book.)
While the book lags a bit in the middle ( only for a chapter or two) it picks up again. The ending is just what I like...a bit surprising and a bit oooh, I got that part right.
So if you're in the mood for a bit of a lark on an English country estate, you can download this free audio book or download the free e-book in pdf. or Kindle format.