Now that she’s married her millionaire beau, mystery writer and ace amateur sleuth Marjorie McClelland needs all her skills to free him from a murder charge.
Having escaped the wedding planned by their Ridgebury, Conn. neighbors, Marjorie and Creighton Ashcroft are honeymooning on the high seas. Marjorie’s seasickness calls for a change of venue, so when the ship visits Bermuda, Creighton takes his bride to his estranged father’s private island. Although the senior Ashcroft reportedly never visits in August, he’s not only in residence but is accompanied by his wife and former secretary Griselda, who’s not nearly as dumb as she looks; his new secretary, Mr. Miller; his son Edward and his wife Pru; and Pru’s friend, the spiritualist Cassandra. The only other inhabitants are Selina, who’s worked for Ashcroft for 30 years, and her son George. Ashcroft sets the cat among the pigeons when he announces he has changed his will to favor an undisclosed beneficiary and that George is his son. It’s no wonder when Ashcroft is murdered that evening, or when the survivors realize they’re all suspects. After a second islander is murdered and Creighton suspected, Marjorie must size up the suspects and find the real killer if she wants to continue her honeymoon.
Despite the murder on a private island, the fourth of Marjorie’s amusing pre–World War II adventures (Shadow Waltz, 2008, etc.) is more Nick and Nora than Agatha Christie.