"Mr J.J. Connington is a name revered by all specialists on detective fiction." Spectator
When a locum doctor is called out one foggy night to a case of scarlet fever, he mistakes one house for another and discovers a young man lying in a pool of blood, who manages to choke out a dying message.
Two people are killed. "Nine solutions" are the possibility and probability combination of murder, accident and suicide that could have caused the death of these two people. This intriguing clue-laden third case for Sir Clinton Driffield has its origin in a dark scheme that reveals as much about the means for murder as its motivation. The narrowing down and elimination of the solutions to not only what could have been, but as to what it must have been is the crux of the book.
J.J. Connington (pen name of Alfred Walter Stewart) was born in Glasgow, the youngest of three sons of Reverend Dr Stewart. He graduated from Glasgow University and pursued an academic career as a chemistry professor, working for the Admiralty during the First World War. Known for his ingenious and carefully worked-out puzzles and in-depth character development, he was admired by a host of his better-known contemporaries, including Dorothy L. Sayers and John Dickson Carr, who both paid tribute to his influence on their work. He married Jessie Lily Courts in 1916 and they had one daughter.