“Strangeness is a recommendation to me, you know.”
“I was depending on that.”
After his recent stint in the army intelligence service, literary detective Henry Gamadge is sure he’ll never be surprised by anything again. That’s before he is hired by Harriet Clayborn Leeder to supervise the opening of a sealed room in her family home. The Clayborns expect the room to contain their long-awaited inheritance: a jar of buttons.
By opening the hidden room, the Clayborn family unleash a Pandora’s box of obsession, theft, and even murder. Some family secrets are best left undisturbed. Continue reading “Somewhere in the House (1946) by Elizabeth Daly”
“Tonight, up in my room, I say again in this journal that there was something strange about Father’s death. Why was he struck down, and nobody else? And when he was so much better, why did he become ill again? Why can I not remember what it was I noted in the bedroom? I want to ask all sorts of questions, but who could give me the right answers?”
What could be better than a good old-fashioned Victorian family poisoning? In the long-ago days of the 1890s, two monstrous houses stand side by side. Albert House is the home of family matriarch Harriet Collard, her spinster daughter Charlotte, and poor relation Bertie Williams. Victoria Villa houses Harriet’s two other children. George Collard and his beautiful wife Isabel share the house with his sister Beatrice, her husband Roger Vandervent, and Roger’s teenage son Paul. The arrangement wouldn’t suit everyone, but life in the two villas seems harmonious.
Behind closed doors, however, this seemingly staid Victorian family is rotten at the core. Their secrets won’t stay hidden for long, as a spate of murders threaten to reveal the passions and hatreds that these poisonous relations are desperate to keep buried. Continue reading “The Blackheath Poisonings (1978) by Julian Symons”