The third instalment of the brilliant William Dougal series, from the bestselling author of The American Boy and The Ashes of London.
There's unfinished business between William Dougal and his widowed father. Part of it has to do with Celia Prentisse, William's ex-girlfriend. When her historian father is found drowned, it's declared suicide, but Celia remains unconvinced - not least because his abandoned clothes were found with a bottle of the wrong brand of gin and a slim volume of Schopenhauer's essays.
It's not much evidence, but it's enough to send her godfather, retired British intelligence officer Major Ted Dougal, and his son William off on a trail that leads to a 1930s arsenic poisoning and a still-classified World War I court martial . . .
Caroline Minuscule won England's Crime Writers First Novel Award and an MWA Edgar nomination. Characters in Taylor's debut and the sequel, Waiting for the End of the World, return in his third thriller set after the alleged suicide or accidental drowning of Richard Prentisse. His daughter Celia appeals to Richard's friend, Major Ted Dougal, and his son, William, to uncover the real cause of death. In her father's study, Celia finds a puzzling note among his documents. This is tiny clue propels her and the Dougals into long trips and meetings with people in widely different professions. The three investigators search for information about a man hanged for murder years earlier, facts about a court-martial during WW I, and other well-kept secrets. A journalist who offers help to William is killed and so are other innocents involved in the affairs of an arrogant criminal. As the resourceful villain tightens the net around Celia and William, Major Dougal pits his cunning against him. The narrative's climax and denouement offer, yet again, examples of the author's ability to make one's pulse race. Foreign rights: Gollancz. November