Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Watersplash by Patricia Wentworth

Details: First published 1954; cover shown is the 1961 Penguin Books (UK) paperback reprint. #1402. 218p.

Mooched from Australia.

"Greenings is a quiet English village, its life revolving round the church, the big house, and Mrs Alexander's general shop. All seems as peaceful and innocent as the baby's vest which Miss Silver, a guest at the Vicarage, is knitting for a past client. And the watersplash beside the stepping stones is hardly two feet deep. Of course, a man might drown in it if her were drunk. But Miss Silver is not satisfied.

She is also suspicious of the Friday evenings when the work party meets at the Vicarage. Against a background of gossip and cats and afternoon tea a sinister mystery builds up, involving a vanished heir and a hypothetical will. But Miss Silver, slipping out unostentatiously in her ladylike coat and sensible shoes, has a plan...

Verdict: Ah... Miss Silver and her sensible shoes! I love this "Cosy" series - perfect for curling up with on rainy days. The Watersplash is one of the best in the Miss Silver series, and the trap which Miss Silver sets for the killer (who is thought to be guilty but it can't be proved) in the final stage of the novel would have to be one of the finest (and most exciting) moments in her career.

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