About to leave for Switzerland for a climbing holiday at the famed Matterhorn he is contacted by British intelligence to make inquiries into threats against Leon Jacot, a swiftly rising political star in France. Lewker and Jacot worked together during the war in Occupied France.
At Zermatt an intriguing group of characters are assembled at the Hotel Obergabellhorn. Jacot’s wife, Deborah, is deeply worried by the threats which are being shrugged aside by her husband. Her pilot brother, John Waveney, is present to offer her support. Comte and Comtese de Goursac have a troubled marriage. Pretty Margaret Kemp is accompanying her ougoing Aunt Beatrice Fillingham. Author John Bryce and alpiner, Dr. Lawrence Greatorex. Wandering eyes and more complicate the relationships.
It is an English country house mystery in the Alps in format. It becomes a Swiss mystery by the participation of the mountains, especially the Matterhorn.
When murder occurs on the mountain all the alibis and opportunities are tested against the mountaineering abilities of the characters. All of the guests of the hotel have explanations for their location at the time of the murder.
Herr Schultz, the Kriminal Kommissar, is a competent, if pompous investigator, of the crime. He readily draws on Lewker to assist him.
It is a well plotted mystery clearly set in its era of the beginning of the 1950’s. Lewker is an engaging, larger than life character. I plan to look for further Lewker mysteries. (Oct. 22/11)