“Caspary is an expert at suspense and suspicion…She is also expert at evoking the flavor of a decade when martinis were drunk in coffee cups and rumbles were car seats.”—The New York Times
Fanny Butcher, the literary critic for the Chicago Tribune, “came out of retirement to declare it obscene—ironic judgment from today's point of view, since there are no graphic descriptions and the most explicit allusions are in a scene in which two naked girls discuss sex.” (Caspary’s The Secrets of Grown-ups, p. 265)
It was a time when skirts were short and hair was shingled. A time of speakeasies, hipflasks and bathtub gin. A time when Evvie Ashton, the beautiful society girl who modeled, danced, painted and loved promiscuously had come of age—knowing all the right people, doing all the wrong things, and sharing all of it with her roommate and confidante, Louise.
In the early morning hours, as Dr Willing returns to his cottage, he sees what he thinks is a fire and investigates. He finds Claudia near death at the table and hears footsteps fading up the stairs. Someone didn't want Claudia to learn the truth about them, and soon Dr Willing finds himself a suspect in murder.