Private detective Cordelia Gray is invited to the sunlit island of Courcy to protect the vainly beautiful actress Clarissa Lisle from veiled threats on her life. Within the rose red walls of a fairy-tale castle, she finds the stage is set for death. "Richly intricate and literate," James's second Cordelia Gray mystery "shows James at the height of her storytelling powers" (San Francisco Chronicle).
P. D. James (1920–2014) was born in Oxford in 1920. She worked in the National Health Serviceand the Home Office From 1949 to 1968, in both the Police Department and Criminal Policy Department. All that experience was used in her novels. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy, and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honour for Literature. She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and was created a life peer in 1991.