A rather harsher and more serious kind of story than the others in this series, with the unpleasant realities of city life taking the place of the usual semi-comic eccentricity at which this show excelled. The wary witness of the title turns out not only to be a prostitute, but to have been one since she was 13, whilst the denouement proves a bitter one for Ellery as he realises that close friends are not as blameless as he had supposed. The gangsters in this story are not the Runyonesque hoodlums of other episodes, but real criminals, killers and very nasty. The solution to the mystery has a bitter, tragic quality quite unlike the surprise twists in the various other stories.
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