269 pages. Small octavo (7 3/4" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's grey cloth with black label to spine in gilt lettering and black circular design to cover. First edition.
Philip Linton was a retired New York City detective whose hobby was fingerprint identification. So it happened that when someone stepped into his parlor and blasted his stomach with a .45, Linton was able to arrange nine fingerprint cards before he died, leaving a clue to his murderer. But did the clue point in the direction Linton's fellow detectives thought it did? J Dabney Ashton, an eccentric actor, one of Alexander's best characters and a puzzle expert, read the letters in another, more complex way. The police believe the killer was Abner Ellison, Linton's foster son, who went into hiding immediately after the murder. The search for him is a desperate one, complicated by an overriding fear--for when Linton was killed his beautiful young granddaughter was kidnapped, and both crimes are related to corruption within the police department itself.
Slightly cocked. Jacket lightly soiled, spine sunned else a better than very good copy in like jacket.