This is the fourth in Josephine Tey’s series of novels featuring Inspector Grant. In To Love and Be Wise he is sent to a small English village, Salcott St Mary to investigate the disappearance of a young man, Leslie Searle.
Searle was an incredibly beautiful man who was an in vogue photographer from America. Famous for his photos of actors and actresses, including Hollywood stars.
He had visited Salcott St Mart as he said he had known a man, now dead, who was a friend of one of the villagers and as a result he was accepted by the villagers and was even invited to be a guest in one of the country homes, where he became quite at home,
He decides to collaborate up with a local writer and radio personality, to write a book about the river that runs through the village. He will take the photos and the writer the writing, obviously… They plan to take a canoe along the river and camp beside it each night, but shortly after they begin their adventure, Leslie Searle disappears.
There are no signs of foul play and no body. Had he been murdered and thrown into the river, did he accidentally or purposely fall into the river and drown? ? They drag the river repeatedly but find no body and no evidence. But a young boy whose fishing on the river fishing brings up a shoe that is identified as Searle’s.
Inspector Grant continues his investigation but is making no headway. He’s just about given up and begins pursuing other cases, when he has a brainwave that helps him to see what might have happened and why.
The mystery is complicated and touches on psychology and gender identity with great characters and a plot that leaves you guessing right to the end.