The author's prolific and uneven output (Death in Fashion, etc.) won't be enhanced by the silly plot or set-your-teeth-on-edge archness of this one. Midge and Reggie have inherited Chortlesby Manor from Reggie's father Eric, who failed to make it profitable as a country hotel and has taken off for greener fields in Australia. Meanwhile, mystery tour weekends from the US have helped put the inn on its feet, and this one, with a staged murder for the participants to solve, has an involved scenario, hired actors, and a 1930's ambiance. There are also two real-life mystery authors in residence--Evelina T. Carterslee and Bramwell Barbour, with Gorgon-like mother Amaryllis in tow. Guests arrive, mostly indistinguishable from one another, except for the balmy Chandler twins, wildly enamoured of Bramwell, one of whom becomes a real murder victim while a snowstorm and cut phone wires isolate the manor from the outside world. A second killing follows, and a denouement as artificial as the weekend itself. Aside from some cogent observations on 30's detective fiction and a few well-aimed barbs at contemporary work, there's little here to engage time and attention. A disappointment, but, with Babson, something better is surely in the future.