ATTENTION CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS

Second Round of Super Book Password News: Debbie has correctly guessed my Historic Event! But Ryan's Password is still up for grabs. Click photo in the sidebar for links.


Some of Bev's Favorite Quotes...



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The After House: Review


Many thanks to Ryan over at Wordsmithonia for bringing The After House by Mary Roberts Rinehart to my attention. Despite my love for vintage mysteries, I have only read one other book by Rinehart (The Window at the White Cat) back before my blogging days--and that one made no great impression on me. But I could not resist this one after reading Ryan's excellent review (link above will take you there).

Ralph Leslie, who has spent all his funds training to be a doctor, is just out of hospital and fresh out of cash. A bout of typhoid put him in the hospital and while he was recovering he watched a refit of Marshall Turner's schooner-turned-yacht. An intense longing for the sea takes hold of Leslie and as soon as he is discharged, he signs up as a steward for the yacht's first pleasure cruise. His job seems fairly easy, one could say smooth sailing, at first...until one sultry August night when his dream voyage becomes a nightmare of murder. One of the ship's officers disappears overboard. But the worst is yet to come. Before the night is over, three more will die at the hands of a murderer wielding an axe. With panic among the passengers and crew alike and a drunken owner in no condition to take charge, it is up to Leslie to remain calm enough to see the stricken boat back to shore and a murderer caught. IF he can stay alive long enough and that will prove to be no easy task.


I found Rinehart's writing, plotting, and use of atmosphere much more compelling in this outing than in my previous read. This is a very short book--but she uses the space well to build up a keen sense of the terror and shock those aboard the
Ella must have felt when murder was let loose in their midst. My only quibble was with the court scenes--a lot of rehashing of the story we had already been through. But it did reveal a few minor points that were useful to the final conclusion. Overall, a very enjoyable read. I'm glad I gave Rinehart another try and will certainly read more as they come along. Three and a half stars.

3 comments:

Shirley said...

Your review does this book justice, I think, in-so-much that I would love to read it!

I love to visit your site for mystery reviews. You always find the good ones!

Bev Hankins said...

Thanks, Shirley! I do love those vintage mysteries!

Ryan G said...

I'm so glad you liked it. I'm wishing I had discovered her writing earlier. I will have another review posting tomorrow and I've already finished a 4th book of hers. I must say it beat out all three of the previous books.