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John Sebastian Lafcadio, is one of the greatest painters of the Edwardian period, and his ambition to be known as the greatest painter since Rembrandt was not to be thwarted by a matter as trifling as his own death. Lafcadio was not only a brilliantly talented, it appears, a bit psychic: Certain that his reputation would improve dramatically after his death, he left aset of twelve sealed paintings with his agent, along with the instruction that her widow should wait a suitable interval and then begin doling out the work to a newly ravenous public at the rate of one per year. Lafcadio's widow unveil the eighth canvas to a carefully selected audience. Albert Campion, an old friend of the widow's, is among the cast of gadabouts, muses and socialites gathered for the latest ceremony. The event is a success for all but one of the attendees--a young artist who is brutally stabbed while others are sipping champagne. The art is the last thing on the sleuth's mind whenl the wife of another painter is poisoned. The first killing took place at a crowded art show, in full view of the cream of London society. For the second killing, only the victim and the murderer were present. The first killing took place at a crowded art show, in full view of the cream of London society. For the second killing, only the victim and the murderer were present. Now the scene was set for the third--a lavish dinner party with vintage wines, and with Albert Campion's death as the main course. Mr. Campion must employ all his tact as well as his formidable intelligence to trap the killer, and dodge death.