Frank Spargo, a young London journalist in search for a big story, stumbles upon a crime scene in Middle Temple Lane. A porter has found the body of an elderly man on the steps leading to one of the chambers in the Middle Temple. There is nothing at all on the man that can help identifying him, but a piece of paper with an address of a certain lawyer. Spargo senses this could be his big story and gets involved in the mystery. Joseph Smith Fletcher (1863-1933) was an English author and journalist, one of the leading writers of detective fiction in the Golden Age. After his journalist career Fletcher first started writing poems, then historical fiction, and finally moved on to write detective mysteries he is best known for.