A sick man, suffering from leukemia, enters the hospital and - to nobody's surprise - dies of his disease. But before he died, this man had made a few marginal notes in an old and not particularly valuable copy of Shakespeare's play, "The Tempest." And suddenly anyone who might have seen those notes is very much at risk of being murdered.
Daly, who is said to have been among Agatha Christie's favorite authors, is an ingenious plotter. But her strength also lies in her characters and her settings. Her detective, biblio expert Henry Gamadge, is a complex and engaging character. The other people we meet in the book are fully drawn. The victims in Daly's books are rarely cardboard cutouts - nor are the villains. And the ending, with its sudden twists and turns, will surprise most readers. The Felony & Mayhem Press has been republishing Daly; "The Book of the Dead" is the eighth of her books to be back in print, and it's an excellent entry in the series.