Alexis Fairburn

Alexis Fairburn is the beak who runs the Crossword Society so beloved of James’s messmate Pritpal. Brilliant but absent minded and eccentric, the sudden announcement of his departure from Eton causes little surprise or concern to his fellow tutors, but Pritpal and James are immediately suspicious of his peculiar letter of resignation.

“His heartbeat skipped and he felt a tingling in his scalp. He had lived a dull and secluded life with very little danger and nothing to disrupt the even flow of his days. He was experiencing a new emotion now, excitement. In a way, he was even enjoying it.

He still had his brain. He must use it somehow to escape from his predicament. He was confident that he would think of something. There wasn’t a problem in the world that couldn’t be solved with brainpower.”