The great thing about the Miss Silver books is that they were written during the period of time the story takes place. They read like period pieces now, but with the gentle narrative that you only get from those older stories.
This is the second Miss Silver book I've read, and I can only say that they get better with each one. I hate to put this up for trading, but my bookshelves are too full already!
In this story, Miss Silver knits her way through another mystery -- finishing her garment at the same time the mystery is solved. As a knitter myself, I love the knitting references. And, Miss Silver is someone I'd love to have "come stay" any time.
When Miss Maud Silver arrives in the village of Lenten to visit an old school clrm, she soon finds herself in he mist o a murder investigation.
Miss Silver again finds a way to solve the crime and further young love. When she explains all at the end, you wonder why you didn't figure it out too...she knows nothing more than the reader.
From the back of the book:
When James Lessiter returns to Lenton after many years to claim his family estate, his reappearance opens old wounds never healed. Then he is found bludgeoned to death by a fire poker and the suspects are almost too numberous to count. From the jilted girlfriend, to the widow in the guest house, to an angry husband, each one has a long-standing grudge against the selfish scion-but only one has the urge to murder. Thank heavens Miss Silver is in town visiting a friend. The culprit is only a few questions from discovery.
I have 14 of the Miss Silver mysteries and I find them entertaining and informative. It is fun to try and figure out the differences in language and to realize how much the world has changed since she began writing in the 30's. I am a knitter and it is a wonderful sub story to see what she's knitting and how hard it was to find yarn. Wonderful!
Miss Silver is visiting an old school chum whose small village certainly doesn't lack in local gossip- the villages matriarch has died and left the estate to her estranged son, who left the village 20 years before. The now wealthy James Lessiter hasn't only returned to claim the dwindling estate, but also to seek revenge upon the woman he blames for breaking up the engagement twenty years prior to the beautiful but austere Rieta Cray. Local gossips wonder if James will try to renew his prior love interest with Rietta, and Rietta's friend Catherine tries to force them together. Mr. Lessiter enjoys cruelty, and is having great fun taunting Catherine with the threat of prison for embezzling from his mothers estate. To make matters worse, Rietta's nephew- whom she has raised since he as a toddler- Carr Robertson, discovers that James Lessiter was the older wealthy gentleman who lured his wife away and who he inevitably blamed for her death. When Lessiter is found murdered, there is no end to the suspects who would have benefited from his death, and Miss Silver's own dear Randall March- a former favorite pupil- approaches her to attempt to narrow down suspects as well as hopefully clear his friend who he has developed strong feelings toward.
As always, Miss Silver manages to convey the sort of understanding mixed with authority that entices even strangers to trust her with their most personal confidences. A characteristic that allows her privy to information the local constables usually find unavailable to them in situations involving murder. A very engaging book. Miss Silver is there right from the start, meeting people and involved in the towns current events. I was not able to predict the murderer, and enjoyed all the background information on the locals, as well as the background on Randall March's wife of the later books.
I particularly enjoyed the romantic aspect of this book. So many of Wentworth's romances in the Miss Silver mysteries involve 20 somethings. It was nice to see a developing romance between 40 somethings for a change, too. Both Rietta and Carr broke off engagements several years prior (but for different reasons) and find themselves back in the company of those they had saught to leave behind. They will find closure in Lessiter's death, and perhaps a romantic happy ending, too.