Cast & Crew
On an England-bound ocean liner that is enveloped by fog, an ill-tempered, aged millionaire named Alonzo Holt is murdered. Passenger Mary Fulton finds Holt's body hanging over the ship's side just after the ship narrowly avoids a collision with another vessel obscured by the fog. With no clues to be found, the captain holds an inquest. He places Wentworth Brown, a young criminologist and scientist, in charge of the case. Wentworth has been involved with Mary, who is also the object of attention from Holt's personal physician, Dr. Winstay. While trying to solve his romantic difficulties with Mary, Wentworth investigates a number of suspects, including Holt's two male servants and Madame Alva, a medium Holt had employed and romanced, then dismissed as a fake. The ship's doctor, Alloway, attempts to autopsy Holt's body, but he is strangled and the corpse disappears. The case becomes even more complicated when Wentworth is discovered to be Holt's long-lost son and the only heir named in his will. Alva offers to reveal the killer through a seance held in the dining salon, but just as she is about to reveal the guilty party, she, too, is choked to death. Wentworth, who has also become a suspect, summons all of the others to the captain's cabin. During the meeting, a shadowy figure that had been lurking about the ship is discovered to be an elderly stowaway. Wentworth and the stowaway, who witnessed Holt's death, trick Winstay into revealing his guilt. Winstay, who had been secretly dealing in Holt's stocks, eventually confesses that he also killed Alloway to prevent him from performing the possibly incriminating autopsy, and Alva, with whom he had plotted to steal Holt's money. After Holt's death, when it was discovered that Alva was not named in his will, Winstay killed her to stop her from revealing his guilt. Desperate to avoid paying the penalty for his crimes, Winstay kills himself by jumping over the side of the ocean liner. With the case solved, Wentworth and Mary are free to continue their interrupted romance.
Samuel S. Hinds
G. Pat Collins
Valentine Williams and Dorothy Rice Sims's book originally appeared as a serial in The Saturday Evening Post (24 December 1932-4 February 1933).