Another in the series of Victorian Age mysteries featuring Inspector Jeremy Faro (Bloodline. etc.)--personable 40-ish widower who shares comfortable London quarters with his physician-stepson Vince. The two are now invited to a dinner party at the home of socially ambitious police surgeon Dr. Melville Kellar, rumored to be up for a knighthood, and his adoring wife Mabel. Kellar is a thoroughly unpleasant host, stingy and openly insulting to his wife, who struggles with inadequate help while trying to make her guests--especially young widow Eveline Shaw--feel at ease. Then Mabel's disappearance the following day--while on a train journey to visit her sister--begins to look ominous when her bloodstained sable cloak and a carving knife (missing from the Kellar house) are found along the railroad tracks. Investigation of Mrs. Shaw throws some light on Dr. Kellar's secret life--and a letter received by Mabel's sister seems to point directly at the doctor as a likely murderer. Things aren't always what they seem--as a phlegmatic Faro keeps reminding his impulsive stepson--but the clumsy solution here arrives with little help from either of them. The author's intimate picture of the Victorian era is always a plus in her stories. In this one it's the chief virtue.