The newspapers dubbed the thief the 'Mad Hatter,' and his outrageous pranks amused all London. but the laughter turned to horror when a corpse with a crossbow through the heart was found at the Tower of London in a top hat.
As Dr. Gideon Fell was to discover, the whole case turned on the matter of hats-- in fact, threatened to become a nightmare of hats. For the victim was none other than Sir William Bitton's nephew, dressed in a golfing suit and wearing Sir William's stolen opera hat. And tying Sir William to his murdered nephew with a scarlet thread was the stolen manuscript of a completely unknown story said to be the handiwork of Edgar Allan Poe.
In a tale as freighted with menace as the Traitor's Gate, portly Dr. Fell unravels a crime unique by even his standards of the bizarre.