This is a fascinating book. It unravels like a classic mystery: you are almost waiting for Hercule Poirot to enter stage left and explain why a man who already had his passage to America paid for would pawn a stolen watch. Even more interesting, though, is the essential conundrum of the hat itself. It does not belong to the murdered man, even though it is found in the railway carriage where he met his end. I must admit I was a bit disappointed to find that the prime suspect actually did do it; I was hoping for a last minute reprieve from the hangman when some new evidence came to light. But perhaps that is a testament to the quality of this work. It keeps you guessing until the end, until the death row confession.