I've read many of Allingham's books. Having said that I found I am reluctant to read another, at the same time wanting too. With this book, I finally realized why. You're introduced to a set of characters, many of whom you like. Sometimes you soon know who the villain(s) is; other times, not until near the end of the book. Allingham's villains are truly evil. Not like the ones you meet in the novels of most of today's New York Times's Best Selling authors, who perform gruesome murders or rapes. Allingham's criminals are just truly cold-blooded evil.
Although I know everything---well, most everything---will come out well in the end, I have to put the book down, as the suspense is too much and is unsettlling So it lays around while I read something else. Then I have to pick the book up just to finish it, and I have to read it straight through because I HAVE TO KNOW how it comes out.
Allingham does a wonderful job of making all the clues come together for Champion and the police. She did that exceptionally well in this novel, but I was surprised Champion had a relatively minor role in this one.
I really enjoy Allingham's books. Although she is a contemporary of Christie, they are more sophisticated and intelligent without being "hard-boiled" Better character and plot development, too. Although you know the villain from the beginning, the adventure is nonetheless enjoyable as the case unravels