A disreputable sailor is murdered in the Marathon Apartments across from a police station. The only witness is a wealthy young woman who will not help the police.
Chief crime-solver in this book is a reporter for a NYC newspaper who has a working relationship with a veteran police officer. It has its counterpart in later fiction only to Ellery Queen and his father, and similar relationships. His Watson, so to speak, is a young attorney, who serves as narrator for most of the book. Two murders are the foci of attention, one takes place in New York City, in an apartment, into which the narrator moves within a day or two of the occurrence, the second at a Country Estate, to which two participants in the murder investigation are to be found engaged in other activities.
The story involves a trio of beautiful women, one an exotic beauty, the others women of class, a magnetic foreign stranger and assorted gentlemen of “class”, ordinary working men, that is, reporters, police and legal types, and criminal types.