Andrew Wyke, a writer of detective stories. A tall, well-built man of fifty-seven, he has written many old-fashioned mystery novels featuring the fictional detective Inspector Merridrew. Disdaining the modern detective shows one sees on television, he favors the golden age of mystery fiction, the 1930’s, with stories featuring complex plots and elaborate puzzles. In the first act, Andrew amicably invites Milo Tindle over to his home to discuss Milo’s plan to marry his wife, Marguerite. Andrew’s real intention in inviting Milo over is to teach him a lesson in humility. He persuades Milo to participate in a game to steal Marguerite’s jewels from a safe in the house; Milo can fence the jewels and keep the money to support Marguerite. The game turns nasty, however, when Andrew pulls a gun and threatens to shoot Milo. He explains that he will tell the police that he heard a burglar in the house and shot and killed the man. Andrew has no intention of letting Milo marry Marguerite. When he points the gun at Milo’s head and shoots, the bullet is a blank. When Milo faints at the shot, Andrew wins the game; he has humiliated Milo.
Milo Tindle, Marguerite Wyke’s lover, a slim, handsome man of thirty-five, of medium height, with a Mediterranean complexion inherited from his half-Italian, half-Jewish father. Milo is in the travel business in Dulwich. Humiliated in Andrew’s game, Milo seeks...
(The entire section is 462 words.)