About the author: Katherine Dalton Renoir ('Moray Dalton') was born in London in 1881. Her career in crime fiction did not begin until 1924, after which, as Moray Dalton, published twenty-nine mysteries, the last in 1951. The majority of these feature her recurring sleuths, Scotland Yard inspector Hugh Collier and private inquiry agent Hermann Glide. She died in West Sussex, in 1963. (Fantastic Fiction)
- Linda Merle, pianist, our protagonist
- Violet Hunter, violinist
- Annie Coleman, landlord/protector of Violet
- Lady Agatha Chant, of Spinacres
- Lord David Haringdon, her nephew
- Diana Culver, likely future bride of Lord David
- Dr. Saigon
- Mr. Smith, has an eye for Violet
Synopsis: Linda Merle takes a job playing piano in a local café. The other musician is Violet Hunter, a ditzy woman and passable violinist. Violet lives under the thumb of Annie Coleman, who has cared for her since she was a child. Annie is quite over-protective.
Linda finds an out-of-the-way cottage for sale cheap, and buys it with a plan to turn it into a little café. She talks Violet into leaving Annie and going in with her. Annie is not pleased.
Nearby is Spinacres, home of Lady Agatha Chant and her nephew, David Haringdon. He is not yet a lord, but everyone calls him that already. His likely future wife is Diana Culver. David goes off for a hike and finds a distraught Linda Merle in the road. She and Violet had been walking and found an injured dog outside the closed gates of Black Ridge, home of mysterious Dr. Saigon. Violet had gone off one way for help, leaving Linda to go the other way. Linda appeals to David for help. They return to the spot, but the dog is gone. It turns out Violet is gone, too.
David returns home and convinces Lady Agatha that she could do a little snooping at Black Ridge, to see what has become of the dog, and maybe Violet. Lady Agatha has a brief visit but learns nothing from Dr. Saigon.
Aug 6 2020: Reading now . please check back.