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Left to care for her siblings, along with older sister Angela, when the rest of their family is killed in a 1904 excursion boat fire, Maud Evans questions Angela's decision to marry a wealthy older man
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Rae's cozy tales of buried scandals and genteel survival tactics, set in the (usually comfortably well-off) Manhattan of several decades ago (Sarah Cobb, 1990; Julia's Story, 1989, etc.), are becoming tighter, livelier, and, in short, better and better. This story involving the disappearance of a lovely woman, two murders, and a bang-up surprise ending--quietly, warmly narrated-- is one of the author's best. In 1904, narrator Maud Evans's adored mother and brothers died in an excursion-boat explosion, leaving behind Maud, her beautiful, volatile sister Angie, two tiny other sisters, and Papa--who, wild with grief and deep into drink, had terrible spells of rage. (Later, Maud chose not to think that his death from a fall was caused by Angie.) With poverty threatening, Angie sets out to marry a rich man--and succeeds. Her husband is wealthy Derek Blauvelt, who pays for Maud's Manhattan household of tots and maid. But Angie will abruptly leave Derek and simply disappear. Derek, surprisingly, becomes a doting avuncular friend, and the little sisters visit his country estate--by this time free, fortunately, of Derek's terrifying housekeeper, a black-clad Mrs. Danvers sort. Meanwhile, although there are disquieting unseen invasions of the Manhattan house, Maud is happy in a bookstore job and finds love. Angie remains absent--until there's a note to Maud that summons her to a night of terror. Before the final revelations, there'll be two grisly murders and Angie's reappearance. A congenial narration, pleasant ambiance, and a satisfying mystery. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Though related in understated prose, this novel of romantic suspense is marred by an excess of melodramatic events. Angie and Maud Evans are teenagers in 1904 when their mother and three brothers are among the hundreds who drown in the sinking of the General Slocum. When their father, disabled by grief and alcohol, dies soon after, under questionable circumstances, the girls are left to cope with their two infant sisters and a dwindling inheritance. Beautiful and calculating Angie opts for a quick marriage to wealthy Derek Blauvelt, who agrees to support Maud and their two siblings. But Angie is quickly disenchanted with her demanding husband, and after a rash attempt to run off, she is virtually held prisoner on the Blauvelt summer estate. Even so, she manages to disappear, and a string of bizarre occurrences (a break-in at the estate; shadowy visitors at Maud's New York residence) turn the deeply concerned Maud and Derek into unlikely allies. A sinister housekeeper keeps the plot churning. Rae ( Sarah Cobb ) writes in a calm, measured tone that contrasts with the plot's lurid developments, and the atmosphere of Old New York is nicely sketched. Yet insufficiently developed characters, a degree of predictability and a mechanical wrap-up of all loose ends sap the book of vitality.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Thorndike Press. Hardcover. Condition: Fair. A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G1560544228I5N00
Book Description Thorndike Press. Hardcover. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. An ex-library book and may have standard library stamps and/or stickers. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G1560544228I3N10
Book Description Thorndike Press, Farmington Hills, Michigan, U.S.A., 1992. Hard Cover. Condition: Good. The front cover has a slight forward lean to this LARGE PRINT library withdrawal in the hardcover. Some shelf wear to the covers. Stamped at the page edge. A card pocket pasted on the inside. Useful large print text. Enjoy this reliable edition. Seller Inventory # AZTextHC0608107
Book Description Thorndike Press, Farmington Hills, Michigan, U.S.A., 1992. Hard Cover. Condition: Good. LARGE PRINT hardcover library withdrawal. Scuff to the covers. The card pocket page has been removed by the library leaving a jagged edge. The text flows clearly. Enjoy this Large Print edition. USEFUL!. Seller Inventory # FEB809HCLP00005
Book Description Thorndike Press, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG1560544228