|Life is starting to look good again for Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart, especially with Orlando's new appointment as the Forsterian Professor of Applied Mathematics. This appointment includes new responsibilities, like delivering an inaugural lecture and acting as the head of a committee convened to deal with a case of plagiarism. Now Jonty and Orlando have to find the time to get their investigative juices running again after accepting a suspected murder case that has to be resolved in one month's time. With all that pressure, and a distinct lack of evidence, Orlando worries that they've lost their touch as amateur detectives.
This story opens up with the ceremony for Orlando's investiture as Professor, which is a great honor, and picks up quickly after that. Both he and Jonty are ready for the next case requiring their detective skills as another step in putting the Great War behind them. It is clear that experiencing the war and its repercussions firsthand have affected both Jonty and Orlando, especially the latter's confidence in his ability to solve mysteries the way he used to before the fighting started. Jonty does his best to reassure Orlando that they haven't lost their touch over the course of their investigation. The fact that both men are still able and willing to lean on each other for so much highlights the depth of their caring for each other and the fact that their relationship has only grown stronger because of everything they've faced.
Charlie Cochrane has written another wonderful installment in the adventures of these two amateur sleuths. Even the somewhat slow opening serves a purpose in showing that life has basically returned to normal by focusing on the mundane details that accompany even special occasions. The story definitely picks up as soon as they decide to investigate and their characteristic combination of luck, skill, and connections is as present as ever. It is delightful to watch them both gain more confidence in their ability as detectives as they follow all the twists and turns in the case until they discover the truth behind the mystery.