Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Haunted Lady by Mary Roberts Rinehart

It’s enough to stop Eliza Fairbanks’s heart. At least that’s what the elderly widow claims is being done to her. First, someone unleashes a cloud of bats in her locked bedroom. When that doesn’t do the trick, next comes a pack of rats to claw at her toes. Special duty nurse Hilda Adams, aka “Miss Pinkerton” to the Homicide Bureau, believes Eliza’s every rattled fear is true. She may be frail—but she’s not batty.

What Eliza is, is very, very rich. Out of the shady and oddball assortment of relatives swarming the mansion, someone clearly has an eye on the Fairbanks fortune. Now it’s Hilda’s job to keep an eye on Eliza before a potential killer resorts to more definitive means. And considering all the bad blood running through the heart of the Fairbanks family, it might already be too late to save her charge.
I enjoyed the heck out of this mystery from 1942. It is classic in just the way you want when the point of reading is to enter another world.

This is the classic mystery situation of the wealthy family full of disgruntled offspring. You can't tell who is simply calloused and who's up to no good. It's got bats, rats, ghosts, and spooky noises, none of which put Hilda off her sleuthing. The solution was perfect and I couldn't believe I hadn't figured it out. All the clues were there.

A lot of fun for those who like older style mysteries.

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