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Towards the end of his distinguished career, Sir Arthur Pomeroy, an eminent English physician, begins at act strangely, neglects his practice and spends most of his time in the South of France. His career changes and from being a staid and reserved medical consultant, he joins a frivolous crowd of ill repute in a round of spending and high living and makes a illegal transfer of his fortune from England.
Then, Sir Arthur is found stabbed in the back in one of the hospitals in Cannes. Shortly afterwards, his chauffeur, Alfred, is shot to death in the gardens of Sir Arthur’s villa.
Chief Superintendent Littlejohn, of Scotland Yard, arrives on the Riviera to represent the English side of the interrogation, which is in the hands of his friend, Commissaire Dorange, of the Nice police. In the course of the case they have plenty of work on their hands among the bogus aristocrats, bankers, alcoholics and drug addicts, members and staff of the motley ’circus’ of the beautiful Countess Sauvegrain. ’My poor Arthur,’ she says of the victim. There is a large question mark over their relations.