In this thriller by A.E.W. Mason, Inspector Hanaud goes to the Villa Rose, where a wealthy widow has been cruelly murdered for her jewels. At the Villa Rose is Mason and his cunning detective ‘Hanaud’ at their best. Missing jewels; high adventure some one hundred and fifty kilometres from Geneva; a casino and blind love are all factors in a difficult case for Hanaud, which ultimately involves a gang of frightened murderers.
It was Mr. Ricardo’s habit as soon as the second week of August came round to travel to Aix–les–Bains, in Savoy, where for five or six weeks he lived pleasantly. He pretended to take the waters in the morning, he went for a ride in his motor–car in the afternoon, he dined at the Cercle in the evening, and spent an hour or two afterwards in the baccarat–rooms at the Villa des Fleurs. An enviable, smooth life without a doubt, and it is certain that his acquaintances envied him. At the same time, however, they laughed at him and, alas with some justice; for he was an exaggerated person. He was to be construed in the comparative. Everything in his life was a trifle overdone, from the fastidious arrangement of his neckties to the feminine nicety of his little dinner–parties. In age Mr. Ricardo was approaching the fifties; in condition he was a widower—a state greatly to his liking, for he avoided at once the irksomeness of marriage and the reproaches justly levelled at the bachelor; finally, he was rich, having amassed a fortune in Mincing Lane, which he had invested in profitable securities.