Donald Langham is a mystery writer and ex-private detective. When his long time agent and friend, Charles Elder is blackmailed over a homosexual indiscretion (this is 1955 London, when homosexuality was a punishable crime), Donald agrees to try to find the blackmailer.
Things turn nasty right away, when Donald makes the payment drop instead of Charles and is almost killed.
Then Donald notices that an awful lot of fellow mystery writers are meeting untimely and unnatural deaths. He investigates and realizes that the dead men are being killed as in the books of a certain author. He teams up with the police to find the killer, almost losing his life in the process.
Donald has admired Charles' secretary, Maria, a beautiful, wealthy French woman for a long time. They work together to find the blackmailer and to find the killer. They discover that they work - and play - together well.
This was a fun book.