Madeleine Burke is prepared to swear that she was Dr. Challoner's last patient on Tuesday evening, and that he was alive and in good spirits when she bade him good night.
While holidaying in Algiers, Hugh Challoner encounters the lightning-sketch artist Aubrey Highton. Highton is desirous of finding a job back in England, and Challoner agrees to help--but then his enigmatic new friend disappears.
Back in England, Dr. Challoner is strangled in his own surgery, and it is discovered that Highton is one of the last to have seen the slain man alive. Who exactly is Highton, other than a former Foreign Legionnaire? And why was a drawing of a laughing dog left in the diary just before--or just after--the unfortunate doctor's demise?
The Laughing Dog was originally published in 1949. This new edition features an introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
"The author's pen has struck the gold with this one." The Writer
"The reputation of detective and author are maintained in a swiftly moving story." Sheffield Telegraph
"A detective story with a clever plot, good construction, and fine writing is a thing to welcome at all times. Mr. Vivian's latest adventure of Inspector Knollis is very good indeed." Edinburgh Evening News
Francis Vivian was born Arthur Ernest Ashley in 1906 at East Retford, Nottinghamshire. He was the younger brother of noted photographer Hallam Ashley. Vivian laboured for a decade as a painter and decorator before becoming an author of popular fiction in 1932. In 1940 he married schoolteacher Dorothy Wallwork, and the couple had a daughter. After the Second World War he became assistant editor at the Nottinghamshire Free Press and circuit lecturer on many subjects, ranging from crime to bee-keeping (the latter forming a major theme in the Inspector Knollis mystery The Singing Masons). A founding member of the Nottingham Writers' Club, Vivian once awarded first prize in a writing competition to a young Alan Sillitoe, the future bestselling author. The ten Inspector Knollis mysteries were published between 1941 and 1956. In the novels, ingenious plotting and fair play are paramount. A colleague recalled that 'the reader could always arrive at a correct solution from the given data. Inspector Knollis never picked up an undisclosed clue which, it was later revealed, held the solution to the mystery all along.' Francis Vivian died on April 2, 1979 at the age of 73.