Reviews by Leah A. Zeldes

Madeline Payne, the Detective's Daughter

by Lawrence L. Lynch

An engrossing, if melodramatic, thriller about a plucky young woman ill-treated by her larcenous stepfather and her duplicitous lover, and her complex plot for revenge.

Reviewed on 2015.03.29

The Adventurer

by C.M. Kornbluth

This 1953 short story continues themes from Kornbluth's more famous "The Marching Morons": A future where the mentally deficient are leaders of the country and more intelligent people try to run things behind the scenes. You have to wonder what Kornbluth would have thought of these times, given how scathing about politicians he was back then.

Reviewed on 2015.03.29

Lavender and Old Lace

by Myrtle Reed

A sweet and sentimental love story. Ruth Thorne, a worn-out, 30-something newspaperwoman, comes to stay at the small-town home of her aunt, who is traveling abroad. Her aunt leaves her instructions to nightly kindle a lamp in the attic window.

Ruth is bored with inactivity until she meets Carl Winfield, another journalist, recovering nearby from eye problems, and Miss Ainslie, a spinster friend of her aunt's. Miss Ainslie lives alone, never leaving her cottage filled with beautiful gifts from a "seafaring gentleman." She also puts a light in her window every night.

Ruth discovers clues to lost romance in both older women's lives, but doesn't pursue them, becoming involved in her own unexpected romance.

The plot could use more conflict, and it's filled with unlikely coincidences, but the writing is effective and the novel makes pleasant reading.

Reviewed on 2015.03.29

Number Seventeen

by Louis Tracy

Detectives Winter and Furneaux chase down a Chinese gang bent on murderous revenge over political reforms in their country. It's more thriller than mystery the criminals become known fairly soon, but elude capture. There's a certain amount of racism, though it's not as bad as in other books of the period. I preferred the first book in the series, "The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley."

Reviewed on 2015.03.25

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