“Murder had followed her; it had reached out toward her from the flying black shadows of the night. There was no reason, no motive, but the sheer fact of it was inescapable.”
It may look like Monica Blane is dancing at the Stork Club. In reality, she’s a million miles away—five years away, to be exact. That’s when the outbreak of war separated her from her friend Linda, and from John Basevi, the man she loved. Just as Monica begins to wonder if it is time to move on with her life, she receives an unexpected message from Linda. If Linda is still alive, then perhaps so is John.
The evening ends with a nightmarish discovery: a dead man in her apartment. She is soon on board a midnight plane to Mexico City, on her way to John with $10,000 cash tucked in her girdle. But what will Monica find when she arrives? Continue reading “Wings of Fear (1945) by Mignon G. Eberhart”
“Queer how few relatives were actually close. Queer how few friends one could actually go to and say: ‘I’ve just been involved in a murder.’ How few—why, there was no one! No one at all.”
Until today, Deborah never knew about the little house on the roof of her apartment building, accessible only by fire escape. Nor did she know about Mary Monroe, the reclusive former opera singer who lives there, surrounded by memories of the past. But a chance encounter with Mary leads to an invitation that will change both of their lives. The house on the roof is about to become a crime scene. Deborah has only seconds to decide: should she stay inside and be arrested for murder, or flee onto the roof where a killer still lurks in darkness? Continue reading “The House on the Roof (1935) by Mignon G. Eberhart”
“When this thing is over,” she said, “we’ll have to start getting an entirely new set of servants.”
The wedding went off without a hitch. Dorcas Whipple was resigned to the forced ending of her relationship with Ronald Drew and the hurried marriage of convenience to a suitable family friend. The guests know all about that. Most of them have seen this morning’s headlines, screaming of Ronald’s suicide on the eve of his beloved’s wedding. But none of them, not even her groom Jevan Locke, know that Dorcas was in Ronald’s apartment last night.
The bride allows herself a grim relief as the car pulls away from the church. Then, her new husband takes her in his arms. “I know you killed him,” he whispers.
Continue reading “Hasty Wedding (1937) by Mignon G. Eberhart”
“Later, after she’d turned out her light, Nan went to the window and looked out through the pines toward Haven. There was no light anywhere. But then you couldn’t see the lights in the house anyway. She thought fleetingly of the chintzes and books and cushions in the living room of the house on Haven as she had seen them Sunday night. Chintzes she had chosen—bookshelves she had planned. And never, selecting that chintz pattern, had thought of seeing it as an intruder. Seeing it on a dark, still night, with no one in the house and a canoe drifting on the lake.
She wondered when they would be arrested—she and Jerome—for the murder of his wife.”
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from classic crime, it’s that you should always, always give your husband a divorce when asked. Adultery, debt, blackmail, gambling…all of these are potentially survivable. Refusing a divorce is the only action that results in murder every single time.
Nan Bayne is finally returning to Tredinick Island, three years after her heart was broken there. That’s when she learned that her fiancé Jerome was in love with another woman. Jerome and Celia are married now, and the honeymoon is definitely over. All the neighbors agree that Celia “is a vixen…she’s rotten at the core.” Now she’s getting drunk with their teenage neighbor while Jerome canoodles with Nan on the beach. Divorce would be such a simple solution, but Celia doesn’t see it that way.
Needless to say, Nan decides to reason with her rival by rowing across the lake at midnight in the fog and breaking into her house. Celia isn’t at home, but someone or something seems to be lurking. A panicky Nan crashes her boat into an empty, yet suspiciously heavy, canoe. The next morning Celia’s body is found in the canoe. She’s been shot in the head. Her husband is nowhere to be found.
Continue reading “The Pattern (1937) by Mignon G. Eberhart”