A fatal moment came when Mr Eliot ought to have stopped – and didn’t. After that there was no stopping.
Richard Eliot has written bestselling crime novels for years. Begun as means to fund his son’s education at Eton, his protagonist ‘the Spider’ started out as a cunning criminal and later evolved into an ingenious investigator. Despite the series success, Mr Eliot is tiring of his own invention and is looking forward to retiring. But there’s someone out there who doesn’t want him to stop…
When Eliot’s manuscripts start rewriting themselves overnight, it seems the Spider has stepped right off the page and into real life. He commits a crime only to provide an anonymous tip to solve the case. Things get even more bizarre when the Spider starts enacting plots that only ever existed in the author’s mind. Harangued within an inch of his sanity, Eliot calls in Inspector John Appleby to get to the bottom of this twisted game.
With the line between fact and fiction so tangled, will Appleby be able to unravel the mystery before the Spider strikes again?
Stop Press was originally published in 1939, and as The Spider Strikes in the United States.
“Mr. Innes is in a class by himself among detective story writers.” – Times Literary Supplement