Here Allingham tries for a James Bond plot. It's not very successful at all. Especially irritating was the role of women in the story. Despite often producing strong female characters, there's definitely a touch of gender essentialism to Allingham's women which occasionally comes to the fore. Here women are secretaries to men, secretaries become the mistresses of men, mothers, supportive wives to scientists, problematic wives to scientists "acting out" because they're convinced their husbands are having affairs (and called hysterical, even though it turns out to be true that the husband is having an affair). Very few women have goals/issues/concerns/interests which don't revolve around men. There's even a chapter called "Wives and Mothers".If there was an Allingham book I'd suggest skipping, it's definitely this one.