Basically a perfectly good mystery that was slightly ruined by annoying characters. Like with Footsteps in the Dark I feel that Heyer mocks the crime-genre slightly (in a rather nice way) and most of the characters seem like carricatures of stock 'House party with lots of people who can't stand each other and a murder'-characters: the incredibly wealthy and incredibly vicious uncle, his good-natured and well-meaning brother, the nephew and sole heir with his pretty and stupid fiance, the niece and the poor playwright...only the vicar is missing. I've read some novels where this worked. Here it didn't, mainly because the only character that did not annoy the hell out of me was Matilda (the distant cousin) but she stayed a bit to colourless for me to really care about her. I just didn't hate her as much as the others.All the habits and quirks were simply overdone and it got really annoying.I did quite like the inspector however, though we didn't see that much of him (oh the glorious days when not every single investigator had various dead family-members and addiction-problems) and I'll defenitely read more of this series.