The Silent Pool - Miss Silver #24.
The Silent Pool first published in 1954.
An actress who fears her life is threatened comes to Miss Silver for help Mrs. Smith is not the first woman who has come to Maud Silver, the genteel private detective, claiming that someone is trying to kill her. She tells a story of attempted poisoning, a shove down a flight of stairs, and a house full of relatives who might want to push her out of the way. Miss Silver is intrigued, not least because this is not Mrs. Smith. Despite her attempt at a disguise, the detective recognizes the woman as Adriana Ford, the grand dame of the London stage. Mrs. Smith was a ruse; the attempts on her life are quite real. There is soon a body at Adriana's country estate, but it is not the actress who has been killed. Fully interested, Miss Silver travels to the house, where she learns that the actress is not the only one who tells lies.
Patricia Wentworth - born Dora Amy Elles - a British crime fiction writer.
She wrote a series of 32 classic-style whodunnits featuring Miss Silver. The first of which published in 1928, and the last in 1961, the year of her death.
Miss Silver, a retired governess-turned private detective, sometimes compared to Jane Marple, the elderly detective created by Agatha Christie. She works closely with Scotland Yard, especially Inspector Frank Abbott and is fond of quoting the poet Tennyson.
Wentworth also wrote 34 books outside of that series. Her novels were the topic of Jariel D. O'Neil's 1988 doctoral dissertation.