When fellow passengers on a ship bound for London start to disappear, Miss Withers must rely on a mischievous cat to help solve the mystery.
Schoolteacher and occasional sleuth Hildegarde Withers has not had good luck with vacations. On her last trip, she found herself enmeshed in the investigation of a dead man on a small plane. Now, on a three-day steamer voyage to London, she’s about to encounter death again. A gruesome joke leads to a young woman going missing from the ship’s aft rail. Is she somewhere onboard, or has she fallen into the sea? In either case, turning about will do nothing for her, so the ship steams on. Soon the passengers descend into a nightmare, as body after body appears. Putting an end to the chaos falls to Miss Withers, who must depend on the testimony of a particularly mischievous silver Persian cat. The teacher and the feline will make it to London safe and sound—so long as their curiosity doesn’t get the best of them. The Puzzle of the Silver Persian is part of the Hildegarde Withers Mysteries series, which also includes The Penguin Pool Murder and Murder on the Blackboard.
“One of the world’s shrewdest and most amusing detectives.” —The New York Times “[Withers is] of the first and still one of the best.” —Anthony Boucher “Full of fun and delightful people. A really terrific plot.” —The Chicago Daily News, on Four Lost Ladies
Stuart Palmer (1905–1968) was an American author of mysteries. Born in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Palmer worked a number of odd jobs—including apple picking, journalism, and copywriting—before publishing his first novel, the crime drama Ace of Jades, in 1931. It was with his second novel, however, that he established his writing career: The Penguin Pool Murder introduced Hildegarde Withers, a schoolmarm who, on a field trip to the New York Aquarium, discovers a dead body in the pool. Withers was an immensely popular character, and went on to star in thirteen more novels, including Miss Withers Regrets (1947) and Nipped in the Bud (1951). A master of intricate plotting, Palmer found success writing for Hollywood, where several of his books, including The Penguin Pool Murder, were filmed by RKO Pictures Inc.