“I walked into the hothouse. She was drinking brandy like she meant it. A créme caramel frock ringed her portrait like the seatback of some Egyptian throne. The air was thick and hot and sweet with orchids. Behind me, her daughter coughed a little and then laughed at nothing. I lit a cigarette. “Do you know Lorenzo Mendoza, Mr Longsteed?”

Noir is a card game for 2-4 players, requiring a single pack of cards, including jokers.