London: Michael Joseph, 1984. 269 pp. Approximately 6 1/4 x 9 1/4". 1st Edition. Illustrated dust jacket in fine condition; Black cloth over boards, gilt title on spine, signed by the author on the half-title page, in fine condition. Interesting laid-in item: Folded catalog card with armorial family crest of Sir Joseph Beecham (1848 - 1916), and the name of his grandson J. (Joseph) Michael Beecham. Inside is the brief bibliographical information along with the description, "Not as good as some of his other books."
Born Richard Stanley Francis (1920 - 2010), Dick Francis was a British crime writer whose novels were mostly centered on horse racing in England (he was a former steeplechase jockey himself). This book is Dick Francis' 22nd book, with wine merchant, Tony Beach, trying to solve a mystery surrounding alcohol with a touch of horse-racing. Japanese Adventure Fiction Association Prize winner.