Friday, May 23, 2014

Playing Dead

By Carolyn Wells (1870-1942).
George H. Doran.
1921. 286 pages.
Online HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Has Wells joined hands with Conan Doyle in the world of the spirits? Hardly:
Carolyn Wells makes excellent use of spiritism and the ouija board in creating an atmosphere of tense mystery, yet she does not allow her story to leave, even for a moment, the realm of things explicable by the most mortal of us.
"The Come Back" is the story of a man who disappears in the Labrador wilds. In his youth a gypsy fortune teller had prophesied that he would some day go on a long journey and die a terrible death but would, in due course of time, return to his family.
Of course, just as soon as your perceive that one of the first chapters is headed "The Prophecy", you know that the remaining chapters will be devoted to the fulfilment of that prophecy. But the explanation of the fulfilment will keep you guessing all the way through.
Miss Wells is famous for her skilful manipulation of the mystery story and she certainly lives up to her reputation in "The Come Back". — "Recent Books in Brief Review," THE BOOKMAN (September 1921; go to page 78, left bottom)

Category: Detective fiction

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