Monday, 19 March 2012

Mabel Seeley - The Crying Sisters (1939)

Janet Ruell is bored. A small town librarian whose only suitor is a dull bank teller, Janet vows that she'll take any chance for excitement that comes her way on her vacation. Stopping at a Minnesota tourist camp, she meets Steve Corbett and takes him up on an unusual proposition: to accompany him, a stranger, to the Crying Sisters Lodge, stay with him in a cabin and look after his son Cottie. While the offer seems innocent enough, Janet suspects that Steve has a different motive for visiting the resort other than relaxation and the gun that he gives her for protection makes her even more uneasy and puzzled. The first night in their cabin, Janet is awakened by a woman's scream and finds Steve's cot empty and the cabin locked from the outside. Could her new employer be a murderer?

The Crying Sisters, Mabel Seeley's second mystery, contains many of the trademarks of woman-in-peril novels; a sullen romantic interest who may be up to something sinister, a heroine who ignores common sense by putting herself in danger and who, despite collecting many clues, can't quite piece them together to solve the mystery, and a final attempt on the heroine's life. However, Seeley does play with some of the conventions and Janet proves to be tough and capable in a dangerous situation, lifting this mystery a notch above other similar novels.

This title and several of Seeley's other mysteries are readily available in new editions.

1 comment:

  1. Just got my hands on this one. Can't wait to read it--especially based on your review!