From the author
Thomas Purdue is killing time one lovely June morning, reading a medical journal 'til stores open and he can scope out a rare music box that his friend Schwartz spotted in a shop the afternoon before. Then Edna Reynolds calls: with the help of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, she has just killed Marcus Wilcox, a tinhorn interior designer who's been harassing her. Thomas, of course, rushes over to help his friend and patient.
After clearing up the immediate problem, Thomas goes off to see the music box... but the shopkeeper denies any knowledge of it. Thomas knows that if Schwartz said the music box was there, it was, but the shopkeeper is adamant.
Thomas's day gets worse and worse: he goes to a terrible antique show, then needs to attend to his pal Frank the Crank, who's been badly beaten up. When at last he goes back to his apartment... well, let's say there's a nasty surprise waiting for him.
As bodies begin to pile up, so do sightings of the music box Thomas never got to see. Finally, Edna - with the help of octogenarian music box dealer Sophie Soleski - decides to take matters in hand. Old friend Cleveland Gackle, lockpicker, comes to help; so does Henry (Jitters) Levitsky, a young man with an unusual but useful neurological disorder. Big Al Resford flies in from London to add his own particular area of expertise, and of course Broadway Schwartz is around to help figure what needs doing, and then do it. Even with all this help, Thomas finds himself in over his head and calls in his father, Dr. Will Purdue. But Thomas is sufficiently distracted that he misses the most important clue of all.
Original title: The Midnight Special
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Amateur