Wednesday, the 26th of February–time for Shelf Control once again–the last one this month! Shelf Control is a feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. It appears every Wednesday. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, what makes you want to read it, where you got it, and such. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!
After a children’s book which isn’t really one last week (here), this week I’m back to a Golden Age mystery, and one by an author I read recently and enjoyed very much, Patricia Wentworth. The Black Cabinet, published in 1925, is also not from the Miss Silver set of books, but a standalone, and I got this around the same time I got The Dower House Mystery (which I recently reviewed-here) on kindle.
In The Black Cabinet, poor but beautiful Chloe is assistant to a dressmaker, yearning for a better life; with memories of her time at her family’s country estate Danesborough, where played as a child. Suddenly, decades later, she finds herself heiress to the estate, and to a mysterious cousin who has made his fortune by blackmail. And what he has left her includes the indiscreet letters by which he got his wealth, all kept in a black cabinet. Her cousin whispers the combination to her just before he dies, but in leaving this to her he also puts her in grave danger at the hands of his accomplices who won’t even stop at murder to keep their secrets.
This sounds like another fun adventure/mystery from Wentworth, perhaps along the lines of the Dower House Mystery. While as I had said in my review of that book, the plot–the haunted house and such–weren’t out of the ordinary, the way it was written made it a really exciting read. I enjoyed the writing a lot and it drew me in within the first few pages, which I am expecting with this one as well. So certainly looking forward to reading to this one.
Patricia Wentworth, or Dora Amy Elles, was born in India (in Mussoorie (where I have lived before) according to Wikipedia, but Gwalior according to the note that was in the Dower House Mystery). Publishing her first novel in 1910, she went on to write several others, 32 in the series featuring Miss Maud Silver, retired-governess-turned-private-detective and 34 others. Her first book, A Marriage under the Terror (set in the French Revolution, and not a mystery), won the Melrose Prize.
Have you read The Black Cabinet or any other books by Wentworth? Which ones and how did you find them? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!