Saturday, March 29, 2014

"On the Tiptoe of Expectancy"

By Florence Warden (Florence Alice Price, 1857-1929).
Ward Lock.
1911. 303 pages.
There was also a soft-cover edition of 124 pages with double-column print.
No e-versions available.
If this critic's representations are true (and not mere hyperbole), then we could have a book that deserves to be reprinted:
"The Disappearance of Nigel Blair," as the title intimates, is a mystery-story; and it is as absorbing and thrilling as the heart of the most mystery-loving reader could desire.
One may be sure that if Miss Florence Warden sets out to tell a tale she will tell it well; the way in which she keeps the reader on the tiptoe of expectancy and the interest keenly alive from start to finish in her latest novel is a triumph of narrative skill. She overcomes with ease the difficulties to be encountered when a plot necessitates keeping the reader in the dark, yet not too much in the dark, till the close of the tale comes within sight.
The mystery here gathers round the Blair family—Mrs. Blair, her son Nigel, and a daughter. Nigel is in the habit of disappearing mysteriously and suddenly at intervals, and no one save his mother knows where he goes at these times.
One day a strange elderly gentleman arrives in the village where the Blairs live, makes inquiries about them, and by-and-by wends his way to their house.
Mrs. Blair and Nigel are overwhelmed with despair on seeing him, and we are plunged into deeper uncertainties than ever, till the truth is revealed.
There is a strong love interest, and our sympathy is won for the four young people who are for so long encircled by a cloud and find the course of true love anything but smooth. — "Novel Notes," THE BOOKMAN [U.K.] (February 1911)

Category: Detective fiction

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