The scenes of this love story, involving murder and mystery, are laid in the north of England, "Deep Moat Grange" being an old and much neglected estate near a small village.
se, in short, a foolish thing to do, I admit, but in such circumstances--I do not see----"
"No, Mr. Alderson, that is just it, you do not see," said my father. "There is this whip handle cut through six inches from the holder; what do you make of that?"
"Well," said the vicar, looking for arguments in defence of his parochial quiet, "there is the lash. There has been an accident, you see. Perhaps poor Harry went suddenly out of his mind. There is insanity in the family. He may have cut himself. That would account for the--the substance of a fluid nature resembling blood, and also for the lash cut from the butt of the whip!"
My father took the stained thong in his fingers. It was curiously braided, plait laid over plait, rather flat than round, and exceedingly neat.
"This is not the lash of Harry Foster's whip," he said. "I ought to know, because I sold him the whip. This is a worked lash, and if I mistake not I know the fingers that wrought that pattern."
This was a good English village mystery, told from the point of view of an 18 year old boy. The story has bits of humor, some romance, interesting characters, and some gothic elements.
The mystery begins with Joe and his friend Elsie finding the empty, blood-spattered mail cart, still being pulled by a horse. The mail carrier's body is nowhere to be found, and the incident reminds people of other strange disappearances in the area. This book has an ancient manor house, secret tunnels, hidden rooms, murder, kidnapping, and madness. Joe's often humorous narration prevents the story from becoming too dark. A very interesting and unique book that's highly recommended.