Read The Yellow Room by Mary Roberts Rinehart Online

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When a charred corpse is discovered in the linen closet of her family's Maine retreat, a woman must do some fast sleuthing of her own--before a dangerous killer burns, her, too!...

Title : The Yellow Room
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780758204646
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Yellow Room Reviews

  • Bobby Underwood
    2018-09-26 03:14

    The Yellow Room, originally published in 1945, is one of Mary Roberts Rinehart’s best books, in my opinion. It is an old-fashioned, very entertaining example of the more traditional mystery genre. There is a pretty young girl, a murder, intrigue involving the young woman's family, and, of course, a dashing war hero in love with the heroine, and only too willing to use every means at his disposal to help her. Rinehart creates a fun and exciting atmosphere for mystery lovers to enjoy, as well as a pretty good brain teaser.Young Carol Spencer is a likable heroine trying to recover from the loss of her fiancee in the South Pacific. She longs to keep busy and wants to make herself useful in the war effort. She has been forced to care for her mother, however, because her selfish sister Elinor is too busy with her society functions to help. When Carol leaves New York and travels to Maine, to open up their home there, she discovers many unsettling mysteries. Lucy, the maid, is missing, and it is soon discovered that she is in the hospital with an injured leg. Someone unknown had chased her in the night until she fell down the stairs. It could be that someone who has been hiding in the yellow room, even though no one was living in the Spencer's Maine home. Worse, there is a very dead young woman in the closet. When it is discovered that she arrived, asking about Carol, the heroine becomes a suspect in the eyes of the local police.Dane is a war veteran whose past is a bit of a mystery. His meddling in the case is unappreciated by the local police. Carol hasn't a clue who she can trust, and when her brother arrives on the scene, the mystery becomes even murkier. Carol's snotty sister's car was seen the night of the murder, even though she was supposedly in New York. Was Carol's brother involved somehow? Who has been stealing her mother's fine china from the house? What was the dead girl's relationship to her brother and sister?Dane uses every man and instinct at his disposal to root out the real killer, and get to the bottom of things. Shots in the night and the mysterious actions of someone unknown, yet moving easily among her Maine neighbors, can only spell great danger for Carol.This mystery is very old-fashioned, and likewise is the romance. The product of a more romantic era, The Yellow Room is very much a mystery where you can sense the changes the war brought about in young men. The mores of a bygone era are at the forefront in this enjoyable and atmospheric mystery from one of the greats in the genre. For those who like their mysteries old-fashioned, and a bit on the romantic side, The Yellow Room is a lot of fun.

  • Richard Derus
    2018-09-29 19:17

    Rating: 3.5* of fiveThe Book Report: Poor Carol Spencer. She has a tiresome semi-invalid mama, a married older sister in love with her own comfort, a war hero brother who, despite being 10 years her elder acts like a schoolboy, and a dead body. Of her brother's previous unknown trollop. Oh, also wife. Plus she's a mother. (Not Carol, the dead trollop/wife.)Who killed the trollop...errr, lady? Why? And importantly, why in the Spencer family summer home when no Spencers were there? Why did the killer then go on to kill the Spencers' housekeeper while that worthy was in the hospital with a broken leg? (And my haven't things changed since 1945 when this book was published...imagine being admitted to a hospital for a broken leg now, unless it required orthopedic surgery to reconstruct!)Was it the brother, who understandably did not wish to remain married to a trollop since he's from the summer-home class and, not that much is made of this, engaged to a bombshell of a rich girl? Was it the sister, selfish chilly nasty piece of work that she is? Was it one of the elderly neighbors, for reasons unknown but probably having to do with their mysteriously absent grandson and sole living descendant? Or was it Carol's own missing, presumed dead, fiancé, the boy from the little house down the hill from her big, fancy one?My Review: Very much a product of its time, this story has aged less well than some of Rinehart's earlier ones because the mere existence of a murder and the presence of a sleuth are considered to be enough to make the story work. The major, gaping holes (characters appear then vanish never to be heard of again, gods come out of more boxes than UPS ever saw, the sleuth learns things that we don't which is a major cheat) weren't really a big issue in mysteries of the day. They were part and parcel of Dame Agatha's bag of tricks, too.The local cop is fat and shrewd, but not imaginative enough to outmatch the sleuth, and his deputy is an idiot who sleeps a lot. The local spinster busybody has a horse-face and a crush on the Spencer brother, so she elects to lie about something she saw. The Irish cook starts out with two maids, who suddenly vanish from mention, but still takes trays to Miss Carol and brings her endless cups of coffee. That woman ain't no cook, since the stove is an old coal range and speaking from experience, you turn your back on the fire in one of those babies and you ain't cookin' you's burnin'. But I reserve my main snort of disgust for the romantic subplot that Rinehart, God bless her cotton socks, felt was crucial to a successful story. This has to be the most inept romance I've ever seen in all my days. The sleuth, a war hero recovering from his wounds sustained in about four battles if Rinehart's to be believed, is Major Dane, a well-born member of the pre-war FBI and now some sort of unspecified spook for the war effort. Carol sees him as trying to frame her brother one minute, trying to frame her sister the next, and then swoons into his arms with a "daaarrrling!" and a kiss. Dane, for his part, seems annoyed by her privileged cluelessness...yet he's supposed to be the grandson of a Senator and a scion himself. Which is it?So why read this book, since there are so many flaws in it? Back in 1945, a series character wasn't strictly speaking necessary for a writer to get a mystery published, and Rinehart was America's Dame Agatha, so no hook there since this book has no repeat characters. I don't make any kind of a case for you to seek it out. But if one swims your way for some reason, and there's an afternoon you'd like to wile away with a complete read, this will not hurt you in the least. Won't fascinate you, and no one anywhere will make a case (unless I'm completely wrong about the subject) that the characters will haunt your dreams. Heck, they're already fuzzing out of my mental TV screen. But there is pleasure to be had in just relaxing with a perfectly okay book. No demands, no strings, won't change your life, just...nice.Literary Afternoon Delight.

  • Jeanette
    2018-09-26 22:28

    This one is truly vintage. The location is in Maine during the latter years of WWII. Nearly every man in the story is soldier, air squadron pilot, or some aspect of the service. Few phones, few surpluses of anything but trouble and suspense. Lots going on in this house, and especially re the Yellow Room. And don't go in the linen closet!At one of the most dramatic moments of life and death action, I actually laughed out loud. Because our hero, Dane, was said to swear and use words that Carol had never heard, and that were "only used in the Army". (And none of those words ever appeared in the print, either.)Times have certainly changed. This "bad" girl was dead from the start. Now her actions would probably have made her the heroine. Rinehart always keeps you guessing. But she also is super heavy on repetitive conversations. It was nice to revisit the times when the unmarried people actually all sleep alone.

  • Ivonne Rovira
    2018-10-03 00:04

    Carol Spencer arrives at her family’s summer home (called Crestview) in Bayside, Maine, with a cook and two maids, only to discover a dead woman in the house’s linen closet. The victim had been bashed on the head and then lit on fire, although the fire had died out before spreading.Carol, still grieving her dead fiancé during the final year of World War II, teams up with a convalescing soldier, Major Jerry Dane, to find out who the pretty dead blonde was and how it was that she had come to move in as a squatter at Crestview. And while it’s obvious that the victim had been living in Crestview’s Yellow Room, her clothes are all gone — except for the silver fox fur coat and red negligée she was wearing — as well as her purse and any identification or ration book.Mary Roberts Rinehart’s whodunit remains as suspenseful and clever as it was when it was first published 70 years ago in 1945; as cliché as it sounds, I couldn’t put it down, finishing it in a day. I never foresaw the solution. Reading it as part of Kindle Unlimited was just the icing on a delicious cake.

  • Ryan
    2018-10-12 20:01

    So this makes my eighth Mary Roberts Rinehart review for the year, with two more books finished and waiting their turn. Add in the eight from last year, and this will be the sixteenth review. So that makes eighteen of her books I've read in a very short period of time. This is the first time I've stopped to think about how many of her books I've read. I guess the obvious point is that I really like her writing.Nothing changes with The Yellow Room, actually I think my fondness for her has only grown by leaps and bounds with this one. This was one of the most enjoyable books of hers yet, and considering how much fun I've been having, that says something. Everything was perfect; from the setting, to the characters, to the crime itself. Carol is the quintessential Rinehart heroine. She is wealthy, pretty, but above all else, intelligent. She uses her brains, and in this case her own investigative skills, to her advantage. Now that's not to say that she does all the work on her own, far from it. Like most of Rinehart's heroines, Carol is more of an asset for the male protagonist, the love interest if you will. This time around she gets out and helps in the field, but it's the male hero that saves the day. I don't want to sell Carol, or her contemporaries short, though. It's often their eyes and memories that make all the difference. Without her, the male hero wouldn't have a chance of solving the case.But what I love the most about this book, and every Rinehart book I've ever read, is the setting. She is able to create a world, that no matter how big, always feels small and claustrophobic. It's the one skill of hers that I admire more than any other. For me, the setting is almost more important than anything else. If the story being told doesn't fit within the world the author created, I can never buy into. If I can't imagine myself there, in the locale, I can't enjoy what I'm reading. If the atmosphere, especially in a mystery, surrounding the characters doesn't raise goosebumps on my arm, I feel let down. Luckily, Rinehart has not yet failed to do just that.

  • Rivka
    2018-10-18 00:27

    The Circular Staircase was the first of Ms. Rinehart's books that I read and I liked it enough to run out and pick up a second. I'm so glad I happened on this one next! I finished it in one evening, hair standing on end, nails bitten clean off and with every light in my bedroom on! I ordered it online the next day. I am such a sucker for a good clean suspenseful murder mystery. I've just discovered Ms. Rinehart's books (mentioned in Amory Blaine's reading list)and though no one will ever write murder mysteries and detective fiction like Agatha Christie did, I am now a Mary Roberts Rinehart devotee!She published stories, novels and plays from 1906 until the 1950's and is credited with the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing. I love the suspense of the novels and the love stories that are interwoven. The love stories are completely predictable, of course, but I'm glad they are - that way you can enjoy watching the people fall in love without it detracting from the mystery.

  • Bev
    2018-10-04 21:23

    Mary Roberts Rinehart does it again in The Yellow Room. Billed on my edition as a more Gothic, Had-I-But-Known story, it's really more of a twisty-turny mystery (and she delivers on the twisty-turny solution!). Shoot, if you read the blurb on the book I have here beside me, you'd think that some evil terror hangs out in the Yellow Room of Carol Spencer's family home in the country and that she goes in mortal fear of her elder brother.See?:As a child, Carol Spencer had always thought of Crestview as a place of light and laughter. But Carol was a young woman now, a lovely young woman, and a badly frightened one. The old mansion on the hill was no longer a refuge from the world. It was a prison from which even the man she loved could not rescue her...a nightmare from which she could not awaken...where every heart beat brought her closer to the strange menace of--The Yellow RoomAnd:Brother and Stranger It had been years since Carol Spencer had seen her brother Greg. Time and war had separated them, but Carol still could vividly remember his flashing smile, his easy grace, in the days when he had been a kind of a god to his younger sister. Now they were together again at Crestview--and it was as if Carol were facing a stranger...a stranger whom she knew she should help but could only fear...a stranger with bitterness curling his mouth...hate in his eyes...and blood on his hands....Can we say melodramatic and over-the-top? Just a little bit.Seriously, there are some mysterious goings-on at Crestview but not quite on this scale. Carol and her help (a housekeeper/cook and two maids) arrive at the family home to open it in time to receive her elder brother Greg who is home on leave from service in WWII. He's come back from the Pacific theater to receive a Medal of Honor and their mother wants him to have a chance to relax in the cool country air before returning to "that awful tropical heat." When the women reach the train station, there is no taxi to meet them as expected. When they reach the house, there is no caretaker to greet them with breakfast and a warm fire as expected. The gardener/handyman has disappeared. And what exactly is that odd smell?Before the morning is over, they discover that the handyman is in the hospital with appendicitis and the caretaker has fallen down the stairs the previous Friday and is in the hospital with a broken leg. Oh, and there's a dead body in the linen closet. That somebody tried to burn to prevent identification. By then end of the book, there is another murder and a shooting. The local chief of police goes from having the usual respect (of the period) for the uppercrust, to an all-out effort to make one of the Spencer family out as the guilty party. He finally settles for the war hero. ***Spoiler Alert*****Because after all, the war hero was tricked into a marriage with a "little tramp" who seemed to have come East specifically to blackmail somebody. (The "little" tramp would be the body in the closet.) And said hero was planning on marrying a society lady--who probably wouldn't be too happy to hear that her hubby-to-be had gotten himself entangled.Carol doesn't know what to think. Did Greg do it? Did her sister Elinor, who has always been devoted to Greg, do it? Or is she just covering up for him? Or maybe it's somebody else altogether. She turns to her neighbor, Major Dane, for help. He just happens to be a recovering Army Intelligence officer of some sort...and soon he's uncovering all the evidence that the local police miss.But Rinehart has plenty of tricks up her sleeve and she uses the Major's investigation to provide all surprises. Just when you think he's collected the final clue, along comes another to make you rethink the solution. Of course, with Rinehart, there is the standard romance and there are a few loose ends that don't quite get tied up in this one (not to mention a few vital clues that are kept just a little too ambigious), but over all a fun outing--I read this one in just one day!

  • Book Concierge
    2018-10-05 20:09

    Carol Spencer has just arrived at the family’s summer estate with two servants in tow. They are to open the house for the arrival of Carol’s brother Greg, a war hero who is on leave to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Of course rationing means that gasoline, sugar, electricity and phones are all in short supply, but their mother insists Greg would want to spend time at the Maine retreat. But before they can unpack they make a gristly discovery – the charred corpse of a young woman is found in the linen closet. I’d never heard of this author before, but came across this novel and thought I’d give it a try. This really started off with a bang. I was engaged and interested in the murder and found most of the characters intriguing. But about half-way through I began to feel that Rinehart had made this unnecessarily complicated. There are so many suspects, so many secrets, so many crimes committed that it stretches credulity too far. The final explanation is far-fetched and unrealistic.

  • Diana
    2018-09-26 23:02

    I read this book, along with everything else by Rinehart I could get my hands on, several times in the 70s. As I was selecting books to get rid of, I pulled the yellowed paperback off the shelf and decided to read it again. Now I know why it survived years of purges. Her plots are fairly complex, and the writing moves along, making for a quick read. There's no gratuitous sex or violence (well, yes, there's murder, but it takes place offstage). This book was written in 1945, and it still holds up today. This was just the ticket to read after a couple of long and extremely complicated current novels.

  • Libbie Counselman
    2018-10-20 21:07

    I rated this book highly because I was looking for escape, and this and another Rinehart's mystery filled that void for me. It's a bit dated, about a well-to-do family with a summer house in Maine, and that's where the mystery takes place. But if you're looking for escape, it's a good one.

  • Andrea
    2018-09-25 22:25

    Not bad, but I wish Carol had taken a more proactive role.

  • Tina
    2018-10-17 21:00

    I like Mary Roberts Rinehart's writing. Like Agatha Christie's mysteries, she doesn't load her stories with trivial details which weigh down a story. Yellow Room, good job, Ms. MRR!

  • Katherine
    2018-10-06 22:21

    This was a good murder mystery. 4.5 stars.

  • B.D.
    2018-09-24 22:29

    This book was nothing like the blurbs. The main female character eventually faded into the background and did nothing to advance the plot or to help solve the crime. How in the world the main male character fell in love with her is beyond me. Seems she spent much of the book crying in her room and being pitied by other people. The mystery itself was sooooo incredibly convoluted. Every single person in the book kept secrets under the pretense of saving their own skins, but in actuality if they had just told the truth about what they each knew, they all would have been eliminated as suspects. This is a typical representation of what is so exasperating about murder mysteries. I will probably not read anymore of Rinehart's books. She is well-regarded as a writer for reasons that don't make sense to me. I cannot tolerate authors who toy with their readers, withholding clues, and then present the murderer in the very final pages as someone who has played no active role up to that point. Utterly ridiculous plot. And the romance angle was pretty pathetic as well.

  • Kate Queary
    2018-10-11 00:00

    Nice to read a good mystery set in a time remote from our current troubles. Sweet and oddly reassuring.

  • Linda
    2018-10-21 01:05

    Always fun to read an oldie but goodie...

  • Susan Willis
    2018-10-09 19:02

    I really enjoy the classic mysteries and could hardly put thus one down. You get such a feel for life as it was then. Plus, I marvel at how the crimes are solved 60 years ago.

  • Whistlers Mom
    2018-09-24 01:09

    I've read many books that were written during WWII. In most the war is peripheral, with a few references to rationing or black-outs or the difficulty of travel. For some Americans, minor inconveniences were their only contact with war, but not for families with men serving in combat zones. Soldiers came home on leave and the war came with them.In some ways this is a typical Rinehart mystery, although it's written in third person and I think she was at her best when one of the participants narrates. But Carol Spencer is the daughter of a wealthy New York family. The men attend Ivy League schools and the women are debutantes and in the summer they all desert pre-AC New York City and go to their large sea-side homes in Maine and Connecticut. The war has caused many disruptions and it's the single younger daughter who must deal with them.The book is written in a leisurely (dragged out, really) style that is so different from faster paced modern writing that many younger people may not be able to enjoy it. Having cut my teeth on such writing, it doesn't seem strange to me and I love the details of daily life. The characters are lovingly drawn, both the wealthy "summer crowd" and the sturdy, independent Maine natives. Class war (or at least hostility) is nothing new. It is the only Rinehart novel that I can think of in which the police are portrayed as not-too-bright incompetents. Maybe she had gotten a parking ticket.The mystery is too convoluted to be believable or to hold your attention, but it's a wonderful look at WWII Americans and their attitudes and strengths and weaknesses. I enjoyed it.

  • Shirley Schwartz
    2018-09-30 20:03

    So many people have told me to read Mary Roberts Rinhart since I'm a Golden Age mystery fan. I just never seemed to get around to it, but I finally took the time. This book was published in 1945. Ms. Rinehart is an American author and she writes about American places. In this case the mystery is set in WWII Maine. So many of the Golden Age moments are in this book. The femme fatale, the hard-nosed blonde, the young ingenue, the dashing officer,the bumbling policeman, and a few old men and women and local characters too. There are lots of red herrings and tons of suspects when a partially burned body of a young female is found in a closed closet in a house in Maine that has been shut up for awhile. I liked the setting and of course the era. It was interesting to see that wartime imposed some hardships and restrictions on people at home just as it did in Europe. The mystery is tricky and a bit convoluted, but I did enjoy the book - so much so that I plan to read Ms. Rinehart's enite backlist in the coming months. I thought I'd plumbed the depths of the Golden Age authors, so it was refreshing to see that there are more still out there.

  • Susan
    2018-10-15 19:09

    The Yellow Room was another fun, quick read by Rinehart. The story begins with Carol Spencer going to her family's summer home to get it ready for the family when she finds a body in the linen closet. No one knows who this mystery woman is or why anyone would want to do her harm. The Yellow Room was full of many twists and turns making it hard to guess who the murderer really was. There were a lot of colorful characters, but the one that interested me the most was Dane. Dane is a wounded officer who finds himself interested in the murder mystery while he is trying to get the strength in his leg back. I have really come to enjoy Rinehart's writing style and prose, and I won't mind reading more of her works. The overall mystery was pretty good, and I would recommend giving her books a try if you like an old fashioned who done it.

  • pearl_seeker
    2018-10-15 02:30

    An extremely convoluted plot. Everybody spends the entire book lying (usually by omission, occasionally by commission) which makes it difficult to ascertain the truth (and, thus, the plot).Writing wasn't bad, it's fairly interesting in its descriptions, but the characters are SO incredibly annoying! And shallow. More like caricatures than characters: the bossy, domineering, PITA mother with the 'bad heart'; the 'golden girl' sister so beautiful she can marry a gazillionaire - and who is as vapid/shallow/selfish as any character you've read; the good-looking man-about-town brother with the drinking problem; the mysterious stranger who rescues our heroine.It's an okay book if you're on vacation somewhere...stuck inside from a monsoon...with no access to movies, a gym, internet, music, or anything else...it'll do 'til the rain stops.

  • Marj
    2018-10-07 20:25

    This is the first mystery I've read by Mary Roberts Rinehart, but I will be looking for more. This was published in 1945, and takes place during WWII. The main character, Carol Spencer, is asked by her mother to open their summer house in Maine, when her maid discovers the charred remains of a woman in the upstairs linen closet. A former federal agent, Greg, is staying nearby while recuperating from injuries suffered in the war, and involves himself in solving the crime, with a lot of help from Carol.I liked that Carol is bright, and not afraid to show her intelligence during the investigation. I also enjoyed the mystery itself, which is intermingled with the romance developing between Greg and Carol.I will be reading more my Mary Roberts Rinehart. I hope they are all as enjoyable as this was.

  • Marci
    2018-10-20 00:11

    The Yellow Room is set mostly in Maine in the last year of World War II. The war does not enter in to the mystery except that it has brought about a change in society that makes it hard to know a man's background and reliability--which gives the author a chance to throw in more red herrings. The protagonists include a young lady from a formerly wealthy family who has a horrible mother, a not-much-better elder sister, and a brother who has just won the Congressional Medal of Honor for actions in the South Pacific but is arrested for murder while on leave to get his medal. Helping the young lady solve the murder case is a wounded war veteran whose background is suspect.This tale has all Mary Roberts Rinehart's skill and charm and fun. Highly recommended to all mystery readers who like books written many years ago.

  • Jessi
    2018-09-29 02:28

    I often believe that the older mysteries romanticize life but this book from 1945 certainly changed my view. Set during WWII, main character Carol Spencer's fiance is missing, presumed dead (though his father refuses to acknowledge that and continually traps Carol for long talks about his son), her alcoholic brother is a decorated hero but at war, her self-involved sister is no help with their invalid mother, and now said-mother wants to open up their summer home without even half of their normal staff and trying to live on rationing. Then... there's the dead body that turns up in the home. And the police don't seem to be taking it seriously. But there is a Major in town on leave who seems to want to help. But the whole town seems to be conspiring against them.

  • Karyn
    2018-09-28 03:14

    This was a disappointing book. I haven't read Mary Roberts Rinehart before, and so I have nothing with which to compare it. The description on the back cover of this Penguin edition suggests that she was one of the most popular mystery writers of her day, having taken up writing when her husband's finances were affected by the stock market crash of 1903. But having read 253 pages, I couldn't find a single line which I felt to be worth quoting. And I read the last chapter of the book without interest; the plot simply became implausible and the solution too neat. It didn't satisfy me at all. Read more

  • Jessica
    2018-10-05 20:28

    Here's something that I picked up for a quarter at a local antique store, on a random whim, some time ago. I wish I'd been aware at the time that it was, apparently, the worst thing that Rinehart ever wrote! Or at least close. It's not a good motivator to further pursue her work, anyway. At any rate, it's rarely a good sign when I'm reading a mystery novel and everyone is just so damned insufferable that I wish they'd all get killed, or at least put into a coma, or something that would keep them from yammering on and generally being useless. It's entirely possible to write a novel with unlikeable characters, but completely intolerable is another story altogether....

  • Allison
    2018-10-01 02:27

    Having never read any MRR before I was pleasantly surprised to find I really enjoyed this. Quite a convoluted mystery, I had trouble following the characters and who did what (especially at the ending) but I kept reading and all was explained. I am not familiar with the thought processes of the war-time years nor of being very wealthy but I was able to understand their motivations if you will as I read through the book. Never did figure out exactly what Captain Dane does or did, wondering if there is a sequel to this book so we could find out? Still, a good mystery even though it was written back in 1945.

  • Carole Moran
    2018-10-02 03:22

    Much better than I thought it would be. I tend to read mostly historical fiction, but this mystery which takes place during WW2 is definitely a good read. REcommended by a friend, I found this book to be a real page-turner. The story stayed with me and I didn't want to put it down. A weak spot was the "romance" between the main characters, which I found to be lacklustre and indifferent. The author relegates any since of burgeoning attraction between the main characters strictly to the immagination of the reader. I'm told her other books are "even better," so will probably look for more from Rinehart.

  • Kathy
    2018-09-28 23:12

    WWII is winding own and Carol Spencer heads to Maine to open the family's summer home in hopes that her brother, Greg, home on furlough after a heroic campaign, might want to visit there.Carol is almost immediately wrapped in a mystery involving a secret visitor to the house, mysterious accident to the housekeeper, and the yellow room in the old summer home. Jerry Dane, a soldier on medical leave staying in the area helps Carol out. The usual kind of May Roberts Rinehart mystery and I love them all very much.

  • Jon Wilson
    2018-09-27 02:27

    Rinehart is something like comfort food for me, but this was perhaps my least favorite of her novels. She is well-known as the queen of "If only I had known then..." mysteries, and this one played that card again and again. So many times the action was prolonged because people refused to tell one another what they knew for the most incomprehensible reasons. Ugh. It was quite a slog to actually reach the end.