A strange Disappearance
Book Depository recently made a large number of ebooks free on their website which resulted in me going on a downloading spree. I tried to download books that I usually would not pick up from a store or from the library. Interesting titles and covers helped ofcourse. I noticed a series of books by Anna Katherine Green and on googling her up I realized that she is considered as the ‘mother’ of mystery novel writing in US. I downloaded a bunch of books by her and “A Strange Disappearance” is the first one that I read.
I really did enjoy the book.It was very ‘Wilkie Collins’ in its style but less obtuse. The mystery was fairly simple. A young maid has disappeard in odd circumstances from the house of a famous diplomat, Mr. Blake. The only who seems to care is the old housekeeper Mrs. Daniels. She approaches the police and is helped my Mr. Gryce , the police detective and his junior assitant. The novel is narrated by this assistant. Thuogh Mr Blake does not issue an investigation, the assitant on his own accord, decides to observe the goings on at Mr. Blake’s residence to get to the bottom of the mystery. We follow him follow Mr. Blake around the town and in the countryside and discover pieces of information that all seem to tie back to the disappearance of the young girl.
Several questions arise in the first few pages – What was the realy identity of the girl who has disappeared? Why does Mr. Blake haunt the alleys of New York? Who is the woman in the potrait in his study? What’s the secret in the abandoned innhouse?
The story is interesting and quite a page turner for that style of writing. The descriptions are very effective – I felt the hair stand on my neck quite a few times.
I think Anna K Greene will make for very good comfort reads.