(1890*-1964) English-Australian mystery writer, who roamed in his youth the sub-continent working as a boundary-rider, cattle-drover, rabbit-trapper and station-manager. Upfield's famous hero is the Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (or 'Bony', as he is known in the books familiarly), the son of an unknown white man and an aborigine mother. Bony is a gentleman and genius of criminal science, who has an M.A. degree from Brisbane University. In his work Bony frequently faces race prejudices but wins them with his wit and smile.
Two men are killed by cyanide poisoning before Bony comes to Broken Hill to take up the case, and a third dies soon after he arrives. All die in crowded public places, and all are elderly and single. Witnesses recall a woman being near each man before he died, but their descriptions seem to be of entirely different women. Clues are old and witnesses have been mishandled by an inept investigator before Bony arrives in the prosperous mining town, but with the help of the local constabulary, a professional burglar vacationing in Broken Hill, and an amateur quick-sketch artist, Inspector Bonaparte mounts an investigation to identify the murderer before she finds another victim.