The little Sussex town of Amnestie had not known a death so bloody since the fifteenth century. And certainly none more baffling – to all except Mr Verity. From the moment he appears this bearded giant – ruthless inquirer, devastating wit and enthusiastic collector of the best sculptures – has matters firmly (if fantastically) under control. Things are certainly complicated, but this is hardly enough to deter Mr Verity. As he himself observes: ‘when the number of suspects is continually increasing, and the number of corpses remains constant, you get a sort of inflation. The value of your individual suspect becomes hopelessly depreciated. That, for the real detective, is a state of paradise’.