Possibly Bruce Marshall cherished a desire to prove that a novel could be built around the practice of accountancy. He adds a few lures, to insure other markets than the professional one:- there is a germ of a suspicion that all is not quite right when the books of a certain Paris banking house, and the London firm, through its Paris office, that has the audit in hand, is challenged to locate the fraud; to the pursuit of the problem he adds the other pursuits of the fiscal sleuths, as they seek a fillip for their dreary days in de luxe establishments where gentlemen meet ladies of easy virtue and appetites beyond their means. Then, too, there is the auditor who has a young and charming wife- and allows himself to be ridden by suspicion and jealousy. And the old Frenchman, fearful of his failing health, seeking to find ways and means to extend his financial security. And the dedicated accountant who tortures his wife by demanding elaborate double entry bookkeeping on the home front. And the restless wife, bored with figures, who wants to be an artist. There's every facet of life in the ruthless city, which could concern this little group of underpaid, overworked men, each hoping to forward his own cause by solving the mystery, which looms far larger than the riots attendant on the Stavisky scandal, that background the tale. More than a passing familiarity with French and the French people is almost a necessity for reading enjoyment here. An offbeat novel for Bruce Marshall, and one that, for this reader, lacks the warmth, the humor, the sensitivity of his earlier work.