Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Private detective Cordelia Gray is on her way to work, not knowing that her boss, Bernie Pryde, had died the night before. Upon arriving at the office, Gray discovers his body and a suicide note that outlines his terminal illness. She subsequently learns she has inherited the firm, his gun, and his debts. Given Great Britain’s handgun laws, the inheritance of the gun is a tricky matter.
Elizabeth Leaming, the business manager for Gray’s first client, Sir Ronald Callendar, is waiting at the office when Gray returns from the cremation. Leaming chides her for being late, noting that it is eighteen minutes past 4 p.m., the stated return time posted on the door, and then expresses her wish to speak to Mr. Pryde. Surprised at the news of his death, Leaming then begins to taker her leave, but Gray enthusiastically sells her own skills in hopes of keeping the client. After a phone call consultation with her employer, Leaming hires Gray and asks her to come immediately to meet Sir Ronald and learn about the case.
On the train journey to Cambridge, Leaming quizzes Gray on her training. Gray learns that Leaming and Sir Ronald were referred to Pryde by a former client, whom Pryde always predicted would send them an important referral. Gray reminisces about Pryde and also thinks of her own past as she compares herself to Leaming. Gray’s mother had died when she was an infant and her father was not always able to take...
(The entire section is 1128 words.)
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