January 02, 2011 08:06PM
Lady Audley's Secret, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, is first and foremost, a sensational novel; you shouldn't expect anything else. I had the good luck to stumble upon a pretty Wordsworth Classics edition in my local Oxfam store, but that dignified blue cover does not make it high-brow literature, quite the contrary, perhaps.

That said, it was a highly enjoyable read. The book is 150 years old, but apart from the occasional outbreak of verbosity in descriptions, it didn't feel stuffy at all. The mystery was very gripping and provided enough tension to make me want to read it in one go, which I unfortunately couldn't. The thing is, you can pretty much guess what will happen next - for example, there is an allusion made to an object, and you know it will be significant pretty soon, and you can probably even guess how - but then, the plot takes another surprise twist and you're flabbergasted again. In hindsight, it was all pretty obvious (of course) and the solution was a bit tame compared to modern thrillers - it ended just as Miss Prism prefers the three-volume novel to end - but that didn't lessen the fun for me.

The book centres around a missing person, a lady who seems to be surrounded by this and other mysteries, and an investigator who has to move out of his usual, set ways to find out what happened to his disappeared friend. There is crime, of course, and violence, and lots of that, but none of it is in any way graphic, so you needn't be afraid of too much blood and gore.

A special kicker for me - apart from the delightfully wicked culprit, of course, who was just not at all what they seemed to be - was the investigating hero, who appeared to be rather thick and lazy at first, but was remarkably clever and fun to observe as his quiet life was thoroughly up-ended.

So, altogether, two thumbs up from me for a quick, fun, enjoyable mystery read!

"I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter." (Barack Obama, 03 June 2020)

Lady Audley's Secret

Mari A.January 02, 2011 08:06PM

when I read...

Rae ElaineJanuary 29, 2011 10:31PM

Re: when I read...

Mari A.January 30, 2011 11:08AM


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