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The Mystery of the Semi-Detached

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Author: E. Nesbit
Published: 1893
Language: English
Wordcount: 1,234 / 4 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 121.2
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 1,641
Added to site: 2007.04.07 16499

From the collection "Grim Tales".

Show Excerpt

He was waiting for her, he had been waiting an hour and a half in a dusty suburban lane, with a row of big elms on one side and some eligible building sites on the other--and far away to the south-west the twinkling yellow lights of the Crystal Palace. It was not quite like a country lane, for it had a pavement and lamp-posts, but it was not a bad place for a meeting all the same: and farther up, towards the cemetery, it was really quite rural, and almost pretty, especially in twilight. But twilight had long deepened into the night, and still he waited. He loved her, and he was engaged to be married to her, with the complete disapproval of every reasonable person who had been consulted. And this half-clandestine meeting was tonight to take the place of the grudgingly sanctioned weekly interview-because a certain rich uncle was visiting at her house, and her mother was not the woman to acknowledge to a moneyed uncle, who might "go off" any day, a match so deeply ineligible as hers with him.

So he waited for her, and the chill of an unusually severe May evening entered into his bones.

The policeman

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1893) Ghost story / Short story / Occult

R: * *

Plot bullets

  • A semi-detached house, is one that is attached to another house, by a common wall on one side.

  • A man finds his girl friend dead in a room.

  • But, it turns out not to be her.

  • Is this a glimpse of the past or of something yet to come?.

The basic plot is good, but the story is too short.
The mystery is merely an event with counter event. A lot more could have
been done with the story, to make it a mystery in the traditional sence..

Paulo Respighi

A man waiting for his girlfriend goes by her house when she doesn't show. The house is dark and the front door wide open. And then--

Some evocative description, no real character development, and a fairly predictable ending.



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Linda Berry
Linda Berry’s love of the written word and the visuals arts culminated in a twenty-five-year career as an award-winning copywriter and art director. Now retired, Linda writes mysteries and intense, fast-paced thrillers. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her latest book, Quiet Scream.
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