‘Where do they go, the forgotten people? Where do they go?’
London, 1910: A mystery is begun in Lyons Corner House when innocent Ethel Braund meets blowsy singer Belle Elmore and mistakenly leaves with Belle’s handbag.
Fifty years later, a company of pensionable music-hall artistes are brought together on Cromer Pier for a last hurrah. Among them are the ageing duettists Grenville and Elsie, soubrette Dorothy Driscoll (known as ’The Doll With The Dimple’), Parliamentary Pete (who has recently had one leg amputated), an out-of-practice conjuror and his assistant Len and murderous Heron Makepeace. Topping the Bill is the formidable Hattie Prince, ‘England’s Greatest Male Impersonator’.
In a novel inhabited by a host of colourful characters, against a background of echoing music hall songs, the boy detectives Francis and Gordon Jones unravel a story of illusion, death and remembrance.