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The Oleander Press

The Crime of a Christmas Toy

The Crime of a Christmas Toy

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Sprat growled all the more, sat up, and begged again. The little paws went up and down in a swift quiver, and he made another dart at the box, and sneezed, and shook his little head and sneezed again.
Lord Senfrey patted his old canine friend, and placed him on the armchair by his side.
“You must be quiet, Sprat,” he said; “I want to have a look at this. It’s a present, I suppose, from somebody who wishes to disguise his identity,” he added.

Despite the dog's attempts to warn his master, moments later Lord Senfrey is dead - from a booby-trapped present, on the eve before his wedding day. Talk of the crime becomes the all-engrossing topic of conversation, sending shockwaves throughout Victorian High Society. Was it revenge for the peer’s supposed dalliance with actress Maria Orano, and her recent death by poisoning, or something far more sinister?

Private investigator George Grey of Craven Street, Strand, despite his enquiries into a Levantine Count’s machinations and misdoings, is further charged to uncover Senfrey’s murderer. But who could have committed this dastardly outrage?

Whilst not a Christmas tale - this exciting trip through Victorian society - both upstairs and downstairs - has as much family friction as would befit that infamous occasion; it's a cracker in fact!

Henry Herman (1832-1894), pseudonym of Henry Heydrac D’Arco, was a playwright and a novelist.

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