A remarkable mystery story in which valuables disappear from locked safes; written and whispered warnings come out of nowhere and a murder is committed behind locked doors--all in a modern New York apartment.
"Full of arresting situations and making a strong appeal at every stage to the instinct of curiosity."--The Pall Mall Gazette.
ir feudal origin and exhibit traces of obsolete power than does the great gaunt pile of ruins known as Glencardine. Its situation is both picturesque and imposing, and the stern aspect of the two square baronial towers which face the south, perched on a sheer precipice that descends to the Ruthven Water deep below, shows that the castle was once the residence of a predatory chief in the days before its association with the great Montrose.
Two miles from the long, straggling village of Auchterarder, in the centre of a fine, well-wooded, well-kept estate, the great ruined castle stands a silent monument of warlike days long since forgotten. There, within those walls, now overgrown with ivy and weeds, and where big trees grow in the centre of what was once the great paved courtyard, Montrose schemed and plotted, and, according to tradition, kept certain of his enemies in the dungeons below.
In the twelfth century the aspect of the deep glen was very different from what it is to-day. In those days the Ruthv
I have a prejudice against novels that reveal the bad guys at the outset, unless there's plenty of action. This one moves slowly, with lots of exposition not essential to the plot. Moreover, the heroine — for all we're told she's clever and learned — is a nitwit, and most of the other characters dull, unsympathetic and unrealistic.
The young woman, the mainstay of her blind, but very rich father, is being blackmailed, and behaves stupidly about it. Her father, an important politician before losing his sight, an eminent antiquarian and supposedly brilliantly (if mysteriously) still transacting business worth a fortune, despite his handicap, is nevertheless presented as a wretched, helpless, self-pitying old man, who is readily taken in by lies about his devoted and previously beloved daughter, while never believing any ugly tales about his wife.
Nobody except his perfidious wife (the evil stepmother) and the principal villain ever seems to take advantage of the old man's enormous wealth, and though we're told the latter has some hold over her, too, we're never told what it is. Really an unsatisfactory book.
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