It’s 1938. Gwynne Dacres is a young, divorced copywriter who has just been sacked because of a mistake her boss made. Having to make ends meet on a tighter budget, she finds a cheap set of rooms in a boarding house owned by a Mrs Garr. While her new lodgings and neighbors seem fine at first, it’s not long before a dead body shows up. And then another one. Gwynne sets out to discover what is happening inside the house, and before long becomes a target herself.
I’m not usually into mysteries – or that’s what I thought – but I enjoyed reading this so much! Gwynne is a fantastic heroine, determined and plucky, but with some surprising sides to her too. The mystery itself unravels nicely (though mind you I am no expert). I kept guessing who was behind the attacks, and absolutely did not get the full picture until it was revealed at the end.
I picked this up after reading a recommendation from one of my favorite reviewers, who mentioned that the book was published in 1938. But somehow I missed that little fact, so while I was reading it I had no idea this book was written so long ago. Seeley uses some old-fashioned words here and there, but I had chalked that up to her bringing the historical setting to life. After I realized that the book was not newly written, it did make me consider whether I would have read the book differently, been more critical of it, if I had gone into it knowing that it was written more than 80 years ago. I might not have even picked it up, and would have missed out on a solid pageturner.