30 June 2021

Spotlight Book from this month’s reads…

The After House by Mary Roberts Rinehart

I happened upon a late model copy of this book in a Little Free Library while on vacation in coastal North Carolina. Grabbed it as I would do anything by this author even though I had never heard of this one, originally published in 1911. I admit to having a bit of an obsession with Mary Roberts Rinehart and her body of work but here’s why: she never disappoints.

Right from the get-go, I was struck how she immediately pulls the reader into the storyline and keeps the reader with her on the adventure of the whodunit. This was a murder mystery that occurs on a ship---- a departure from her typical old house settings, but just as skillfully handled. Reading her novels for me is an immersion course in how to write a compelling tale and do it well. I am in awe, as ever, of her skill and mastery of the craft and the mystery genre. Really in awe.

The only downside was that late model cover which was lackluster and in no way conveyed the excellence of the tale. I wondered what the earlier versions looked like. Much better.

Here is an earlier one from Dell (for 35 cents).