Well, that was an unexpected displeasure.
I remember quite enjoying one of Berkeley’s other books, but in this one he got the weirdest bee in his bonnet about a particular young female character needing to be spanked, because she tried to act cool and sophisticated in front of a somewhat-famous author. I’m talking a girl old enough to be socialising with grown women and giving them an introduction, so probably an adult or almost an adult… and Berkeley has her older, married male cousin give her a spanking once, and empower his author-friend to give her a second spanking as well.
I was mildly interested in the mystery, and there’s some witty chat between various characters that sometimes reminded me a bit of Lord Peter, but it just isn’t worth the sheer weirdness of the male characters continually being ready to spank a female character. It’s just… weird. So yeah, DNF.