Boxing Day, 1935. A snowed-in manor on the very edge of Dartmoor. A Christmas house party. And overhead, in the attic, the dead body of Raymond Gentry, gossip columnist and blackmailer, shot through the heart. But the attic door is locked from the inside, its sole window is traversed by thick iron bars and, naturally, there is no sign of a murderer or a murder weapon. TB 14924.
Rainaldi was a violin-maker and when he was discovered slumped over his workbench, murdered with one of his own chisels, both the police and his friends are at a loss to discover a motive. Then it comes to light that Rainaldi had believed he was on the track of an infamous Stradivari - twin to the one housed in the Ashmolean Museum and subject to two hundred years of myth and rumour. With nothing else to go on, his two close friends pick up the search from where he left off and plunge headlong into a world where great musical instruments change hands for millions, where forgery is an art form and where murder is often a dealer's chosen method of negotiation. TB 14671.