"But Lavinia, I don't want people staying here," said the Earl. "After the last two house parties, we agreed no more."

"This wouldn't be a house party, George, it's nine guests for one night."

"The last two times we've had people here it's been disastrous."

"This is quite different. These people are family, not spies and jewel
thieves and blackmailers and film stars. And when one occupies an historic house such as Alderley, one cannot shut its doors, because of a few unfortunate incidents."

Lord Burford's misgivings were understandable. After all, the "unfortunate incidents" had been murders. But these people were travelling a long way, for the funeral of an elderly relative. There was nowhere else for them to stay, so the Earl really had to offer them accommodation.

And so they came. Nine of them: the Member of Parliament; the leading barrister; his "dumb blonde" daughter; the chic New York fashion journalist; the Wooster-type motor salesman; the genteel ladies' companion, with the passion for the occult; and the three Saunders women: Clara, the "gushing witch" with the unsavoury source of income; and her stepdaughters: mannish, motor-cycling Agatha and timid Dorothy, the unpaid drudge.

At first everything is fine. But things start to go wrong at the reading of the will, when Clara claims she has knowledge that would ruin the others' reputations. However, nobody takes that seriously.

Until, that is, she is found murdered...

Lord Burford has never been so relieved as when Chief Inspector Wilkins arrives.

Geraldine, the Earl's daughter, is, of course, enjoying every minute of it - until her father starts to behave in a very odd way. Is the strain getting too much for him?

It was to get much worse for everybody before the end.

Like it's predecessors, "The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy" and "The Affair of the Mutilated Mink", this book perfectly captures the style and atmosphere of the classic 1930s country house mysteries.
Read A Review:

It's a real joy to pick up a book like this... Sometimes we yearn for the days when murder mysteries were just plain fun to read. Anderson understands that need better than any other modern mystery writer. Twenty-odd years ago, he almost single-handedly rekindled an interest in the classic detective story when Avon published his first two Golden Age send-ups as paperback originals. When Poisoned Pen Press reissued those two wonderful titles, The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy and The Affair of the Mutilated Mink a whole new generation of readers fell in love with the English house-party mystery, prompting Anderson to reprise his short-lived series. And what a delight it is. Oh joy, oh what lovely, lovely fun.

Denver Post

Delightful... lighthearted tale of family feuds, practical jokes, lies and a myriad of tantalizing clues sure to entertain anyone who enjoys traditional puzzlers.

Publishers Weekly

Few writers are gifted with the range of skills James Anderson exhibits in his novels.

St James' Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, New York