The exclusive cocktail party, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Fairbank, had prematurely ended with the untimely demise of one of the guests, not to mention Mrs. Fairbank’s social reputation. The victim, Mrs. Maisy Rhys, tested positive for cyanide poisoning. Her death must have been instantaneous, which left no doubt that she had been poisoned at the party.
There was nothing to indicate a suicide. On the contrary, Mrs. Rhys had been excited about an upcoming holiday to Africa where she was planning to begin charitable work. No, Inspector Simmons was sure this was not a suicide. The dead woman had also left a will naming each of the other guests as a beneficiary, a strong motive for murder in the inspector’s opinion.