When four friends stumble across the body of a fellow club member during a game of golf they suspect murder. The police aren't so sure, and when it looks as though the official verdict will be suicide the men are outraged. Convinced that there had been 'dirty work' and that 'the police aren't very good at following up clues', they undertake their own investigation. A classic Golden Age whodunit that involves the reader in a charming game of detection as the protagonists use Sherlockian methods to unravel the mystery.
It was Ronald Knox, who, as a pioneer of Golden Age detective fiction, codified the rules of the genre in his 'Ten Commandments of Detection', which stipulated, among other rules, that 'No Chinaman must figure in the story', and 'Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable'. He was a Sherlock Holmes aficionado, writing a satirical essay that was read by Arthur Conan Doyle himself, and is credited with creating the notion of 'Sherlockian studies', which treats Sherlock Holmes as a real-life character. Educated at Eton and Oxford, Knox was ordained as priest in the Church of England but later entered the Roman Catholic Church. He completed the first Roman Catholic translation of the Bible into English for more than 350 years, and wrote detective stories in order to supplement the modest stipend of his Oxford Chaplaincy.