"It is the difficulty of the Police Romance, that the reader is always a man of such vastly greater ingenuity than the writer." - Robert Louis Stevenson.
with three little girls, of whom the eldest was fifteen. She had not the enormous wealth which is often one of her countrywomen's most pleasing attributes, but she was moderately well off and came of a good Colonial family. Having lived for several years in England, she had grown to prefer the King's English to the President's, and had dropped, almost completely, the accent of her native country. She was extremely well educated, and talked three other languages with equal correctness, her first husband having been attached to various European legations. Altogether, she was a charming and attractive woman, and there were many who envied Sir Arthur for the second time in his life.
It was not, perhaps, her fault that she did not take very kindly to Juliet. The girl resented the place once occupied by her dead mother being filled by any newcomer; and was not, it is to be feared, at sufficient pains to hide her feelings on the point. And the second Lady Byrne was hardly to be blamed if she remembered that
Is Juliet Byrne really the long lost daughter of Lord Ashiel? Will the Nihilists threatening Ashiel's life succeed? Who has stolen the secret papers? Is the peer's nephew a murderer? Can the celebrated detective Gimblet find out? Well, of course he can. But the twists in the plot as he does so are engrossing. Mrs. Bryce is perhaps too prone to long post-climax explanations and extended denouements, but it's a good book despite that.
Well-written and gripping - at least for the first half. Lots of interesting stuff. Unfortunately it decays into unbelievable secret passages and suchlike. Hello, Enid Blyton and the Famous Five! The killer is a surprise, but somehow unsatisfying as a solution, and the very long explanations of everything at the end are boring.
Good read. It has everything--disguises, secret passages, romance and, of course, mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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