apparently this is an example of the type of 1930s potboiler that Dorothy L. Sayers ridiculed, in terms of style and plot--but which many of the public then--and me now--embraced for sheer fun and excitement. of course the book it most reminds me of which I read fairly recently is The Great Impersonation, published even earlier. the spyjinx are on, and with great melodrama! dunh dunh, DDUUUUUUNNNHHH!!