F irst published in 1943, Colour Scheme, not surprisingly, revolves around the war. But while most World War II novels are set in England or France or Germany (or, occasionally, in the Far East), Colour Scheme is set, rather astonishingly, at a mud-baths resort in rural New Zealand, once sacred to the Maori and now run by the very English Colonel Claire, a tremendously nice fellow and a disastrously bad businessman.
He’s so incompetent that his business is on the brink of being taken over by a local blowhard who may at best be unpleasant and at worst a Nazi spy. To sort out the latter possibility, Inspector Alleyn has been sent to the resort—working counterespionage, don’t you know. But there’s a catch: He’s in disguise. And even the canniest readers will have trouble picking him out from the resort’s motley cast of characters.
Who's Likely to Like This
Fans of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and the Golden Age of Mystery Fiction
“The queen of the crime novel—long may she reign!”—Sunday Times of London