Phyllis Bentley, OBE (1894-1977) was an important regional novelist of her native Yorkshire. so important that she received the unusual honor of being on a cigarette card (on the left). In the 1930's she began to write detective short stories, featuring (significantly) a detective novelist, Miss Phipps. In the first story she meets a young police officer on a train; he is studying his papers to solve a crime; she is suffering from writer's block. Their papers become mixed together, and Miss Phipps, in typical armchair detective form, solves the crime for the police officer. Thus began a series of mystery stories, 16 of which are collected in this volume. Critic Nancy Ellen Talburt said,"Stylistically, the stories . . . share a quiet humor and misleading simplicity of statement with the works of Christie . . . . Her work [is] informed and consistent with the classic traditions of the mystery."