just about perfect so far. odds are I'll read a bit more tonight. so good! and, good to know that I hadn't already read all the superior entries in this series, when I plowed through a whole bunch of them several years ago (assuming this one stays strong, and other frothy ones wait in the wings...).
lots of little surprises and family drama, amongst this collection of Paradine kin-plus-hangers-on--more than enough to make up for the fact that Miss Silver didn't hit the scene until around page 87 or whatever. hasn't mattered, but I'm glad she's in the thick of things now; she seems to be her old self, and I forgot how soothing her presence is, in the midst of chaos like this. happy! more than happy...it's that distinctive Wentworth brand of happy!
The party was over.
that is the last line of the chapter I stopped at. it actually wasn't much of a party, as parties go. I just got treated to a rather tense and frantic family get together at the Paradine's wonderful digs. it was a New Year's Eve party--with some Christmas presents belatedly distributed, so it was even a bit Christmasy--but if it hadn't been spoiled by some horrid family dynamics bristling throughout the chitchat, it certainly got ruined by James Paradine's threatening speech at dinner, ending with a midnight ultimatum to a perceived yet unidentified betrayer in the family. very Last Suppery, except for the whiff of missing Top Secret documents. and the back cover of the book suggests that these are the sorts of speeches you give at an already tense New Year's Eve shindig if you want to induce one of the last murders of the outgoing year...
fun, so far! nice to be back in Wentworth's clutches.
okay, after that bizarro Sherlock Holmes tale, I need a nice normal improbable series of events leading to a nice normal overly-complex murder at a nice normal unlikely locale for such things, and a nice normal Great Detective...
Miss Silver, you are needed. no, not you, Miss Peel!--you're not normal enough!--I said 'Miss Silver'. and bring your knitting, please, Miss Silver--it seems to help you think and it's normal.
After reading and comparing the 1930 original with the 1959 revision, it’s clear that much of the original charm was lost in the update. The original version featured a boisterously independent Nancy and a raucous cast of characters and events, but also some horrifyingly racist caricatures. In cleaning up the latter, the revision also cleaned up Nancy and the book’s events and settings to a syrupy sweet Nancy and ruthlessly G-rated mystery that is pretty dull in comparison. 4 Stars for the 1930 original, written by Mildred A Wirt Benson, and 2 Stars for the 1959 revision, written by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, averaging to 3 stars overall.