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Mary Stokes was walking through Dead Man's Copse one evening when she saw, in the beam of a torch, the corpse of a young woman dressed in a black coat, black gloves, no hat and an eternity ring set with diamonds in her ear. But when she and Detective Sergeant Frank Abbott went back to the wood, the body had vanished.
This would have been mystery enough for Miss Silver to solve if a woman had not also reported that her lodger had gone out on Friday dressed in a black coat, black beret, black shoes and large hoop earrings set all around with little diamonds like those eternity rings. She never came back...
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Patricia Wentworth (1878–1961) was one of the masters of classic English mystery writing. Born in India as Dora Amy Elles, she began writing after the death of her first husband, publishing her first novel in 1910. In the 1920s, she introduced the character who would make her famous: Miss Maud Silver, the former governess whose stout figure, fondness for Tennyson, and passion for knitting served to disguise a keen intellect. Along with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Miss Silver is the definitive embodiment of the English style of cozy mysteries.
“Miss Silver has her place in detective fiction as surely as Lord Peter Wimsey or Hercule Poirot.” —Manchester Evening News “[Wentworth has produced] some of the best examples of the British country-house murder mystery.” —Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
“Miss Silver is marvelous.” —Daily Mail
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