The note left beside Dr. John Bastow’s corpse simply read: “It was the man with the dark beard.”
Dr. Bastow hadn’t approved of his daughter Hilary’s fiancé. So when Hilary’s father is found shot dead inside his own office, the door-key turned from the inside, the fiancé Basil Wilton becomes a chief suspect for Scotland Yard. Yet how could the crime have been engineered?
Now an important lacquered box is missing; a former colleague of Bastow’s has suddenly shaved his beard; and the doctor’s ex-secretary has come mysteriously into money. Before Inspector Stoddart of the Yard can form conclusions, another murder takes place, again credited to the “Man with The Dark Beard”…
The Man With the Dark Beard is the first of Annie Haynes’ Inspector Stoddart mysteries, originally published in 1928. It is a sparkling lost classic from the early golden age of crime fiction.
“Miss Haynes, I think, improves steadily — this is the best detective story she has yet written.” Time and Tide