11 May 2020

Review: LONESOME ROAD, Patricia Wentworth

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 466 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; New Ed edition (December 13, 2007)
  • originally published 1939
  • Publication Date: December 13, 2007
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • #3 Miss Silver series
Synopsis (Amazon)

There were times when Rachel Treherne fervently wished that her beloved father had left his fortune to somebody else, so overburdened did she feel with the administration of her estate. And never more so than now for, although she was surrounded by relatives who depended on her, whom she loved and who must surely love her, there was no doubt in her mind that somebody was trying to kill her. Threatening letters could be ignored, odd tasting chocolates can be rejected, but when snakes are left in her bed, Rachel is convinced that someone means her terrible harm. Her only chance of a future life lay with Miss Silver, and Miss Silver was well on the way to unmasking the murderer when they struck again.

A terrified young woman asks Miss Silver for help unmasking someone who has threatened her life. Rachel Traherne has been receiving menacing letters about her deceased father’s fortune. The first two letters were vague; the third said simply, “Get ready to die".

My Take

This was the third in the Miss Silver mysteries, published just 2 years after THE CASE IS CLOSED.
Rachel Treherne has been given Miss Silver's contact details by Hilary Carew who was at the centre of that case.

Miss Silver agrees to visit Rachel at home and to see the situation for herself. They bring the date of Miss Silver's visit forward by a day when snakes are left in Rachel's bed. And, in case there was any doubt her life was under threat, someone attempts to kill her on the very night Miss Silver arrives.

Miss Silver ends up being no mere observer in this case, often taking a very active role in the investigation. Rachel has a number of people very heavily dependent on her, some harbouring a grievance that they did not do better under her father's will, and some resenting that Rachel has been left in charge of so much wealth.

A very readable story, that keeps the reader going with the desire to understand what is actually happening.

For those looking for a comparison between Miss Silver and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: the similarities end with the grey hair and the knitting in the lap. Miss Silver is a much more organised and systematic detective, free with her advice, and willing to take active steps to follow the investigation through. Miss Marple is more an observer after events have occurred, always comparing her observations with her memories of village life. While Miss Marple often predicts outcomes, she rarely takes active interventive steps (although I am sure you can think of exceptions here)

My rating: 4.5

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