I do have to say--as regards the good and the bad confronted, when I take a chance on these neglected old whodunits dredged up from the mists of nobody-cares--that as enjoyable as this one is for the murder puzzle cooked up, we really are spoiled when we get a detective with all the color and flair of a Poirot, or a Wimsey, etc. if anything has caused these books to get thrown on the pile with old, dried up hornets' nests and banana peels and gum wrappers with bits of rough-copy potboilers etched on them, it's a certain machinelike quality that creeps in, as the author fuels up the puzzle along the way, and takes it at bit easy on keeping the characters interesting...including the main sleuth. that said, we're actually doing okay here, with this Tremaine fellow, and his love for things Romantic, and his disappointment over how the coppers fail to see the high Drama attached to a beautiful murder case and a sprawled-out corpse full of infinite possibility--but, most of the emphasis, after idiosyncrasies have initially been highlighted and accentuated, becomes the usual: scenes that show how smart the (in this case, amateur) detective is, compared to everyone else in the room, rather than maintaining him as a many-faceted human being who is intrinsically entertaining just by way of how he, or she, is.
I'm bad-mouthing a trend, not this particular book--which keeps healthy with a cool mystery, and a detective who at least has some flair with his brains--but yes, the thing that helped keep the well-known Mystery writers in print, all the time or close to it, is a juggling of all the balls in the air, including the one labelled "Amazing Detective here!".