So far, this book is completely charming! The main character, Amabel, is plucky and kind. Her daughter, Daphne is a bit of a snot, but she's gone off to Egypt, so that's fine. Amabel has agreed to spend six months in the Dower House, an opportunity to make 200 pounds, in order to stave off the rumors that it's haunted. Because she needs the 200 pounds to send self-centered Daphne to Egypt, where she plans to catch herself a wealthy husband.
Her solicitor's reaction when she told him to take the tenancy for her:
“Mr. Berry”—her tone took on a teasing shade—“you’re not going to tell me that you believe in ghosts!” The dark eyes twinkled.
“Not in the day-time,” said Mr. Berry briskly. “Not in the day-time, and not in this office, nor in Piccadilly Circus, or The Criterion, or Victoria Station. In all these places, my dear lady, I can count on myself to be a complete and confirmed sceptic. Pooh, I say.” He blew out his cheeks. “Ghosts? Nonsense, humbug, nerves! But”—he wagged an impressive forefinger—“put me at midnight in a lonely country house, with the rain coming down, black panelling on the walls, damp under the floors, and a fine smell of mildew in the air, and I don’t say that I mightn’t see ghosts with the best of ’em. That’s the mischief of it.”
Amabel also has been carrying a torch for Julian Forsham for approximately 20 years. He was her first love, but she was engaged to someone else at the time that they met, so like the self-sacrificing, genuinely nice person that she is, she kept the engagement. He never married.
You can see where this is going, right? Because, as it happens, the Dower House is part of the Forsham family holdings, although Julian is the younger son. And he just happens to be back in England after being on the Continent doing something science-y for a number of years.
Anyway, so far we've had an adorable meeting between Amabel and Julian that is just full of unsatisfied yearning. And long nights of ghostly dogs, cats, breaking windows, and everything else that a haunted house could have.
I don't know what is going on with the "ghosts," but I am absolutely positive that Amabel and Julian are going to get their happy ending.
I have to say that I have very little sympathy for Cathcart. This was a very convoluted mystery. Peter Wimsey investigates the death of his sister's fiancé when the police blame his brother, aided by his friend Parker. Saying more than that would spoil things.
It started it off pretty slow. I have to say that Sayers inquest and courtroom scenes aren't very riveting. Things pick up when Peter's mother comes onto the scene, and the scenes with banter and so on are fun.
I read this for the "Country House Mystery" square for the Halloween Bingo, making this my last official Bingo read. It fits the square quite nicely since the death takes place in the country and there's a limited pool of suspects. It's interesting that most of the salient events take place on the 14th of October, the same day I started to read the book (well, yes, some stuff happens before midnight on the 13th, but still).
Giving another Patricia Wentworth a try - this isn't a Miss Silver mystery, but the plot summary sounded deliciously ghost-y!
They meet again in the dusk of a ruined garden. Amabel Grey hasn’t laid eyes on Julian Forsham in twenty years, not since she gave him up—the man she’d fallen passionately in love with—for the fiancé who needed her. Now an unexpected circumstance brings the British widow and the world-famous scientist together again.
Amabel’s nineteen-year-old daughter, Daphne, has been invited to join her friends—and the boy she adores—on a trip to Egypt. But she needs two hundred pounds from her mother. George Forsham is offering that exact sum to anyone willing to stay six months at Dower House, the centuries-old estate in the English countryside where Amabel and Julian first met. The fact that the overgrown, sadly neglected house is rumored to be haunted doesn’t deter Amabel. Until strange things start happening . . .
The mewing of a cat that doesn’t exist, the sound of flapping wings, someone crying in the dark. Are restless spirits walking the night? Or is there a rational explanation? Plunged into deadly danger, Amabel could lose her second chance with the man she never stopped loving.