The Third Key
By Gerald Verner
The Reverend Colin Armitage writes detective stories in his spare time, making his days blur from one to the other, lost in the world of his stories…
One morning he receives an unexpected parcel, containing a sole key, attached with the message: “This is Bluebeard’s first key.”
His initial suspicions that it is a joke from his daughter, Merle, are swept aside and he soon finds himself in the midst of an ongoing murder scene…
Aware that he has little time to lose, he discovers that the key belongs to the cottage of a woman named Sylvia Shand who has a bad reputation in the village.
Accompanied by Merle and Inspector Blane, Armitage goes to the cottage and finds Sylvia strangled to death with no evidence other than a single black cord…
Tension builds up as the three become aware that there are more keys to come, resulting in the probability of more murders.
The Reverend is proved right when a few days later a second key arrives, and the district nurse is found strangled in similar circumstances to Sylvia Shand.
With little evidence to go by, the police are certain that a homicidal maniac is loose in the village, but Armitage has other ideas.
It is a gripping race against time when a third key arrives and Armitage attempts to sway the police’s clouded vision.
Will the third life be saved or is the callous murderer too clever to be beaten?
The Third Key surprises and maintains suspense right until the end.
Gerald Verner(1897-1980) was the pseudonym of British writer John Robert Stuart Pringle. Born in London, Verner wrote more than 120 novels that have been translated in over 35 languages, and many of his books have been adapted into films, radio serials and stage plays. Verner also wrote forty-four Sexton Blake tales.