Saturday, December 8, 2012

That Affair Next Door, Anna Katharine Green

I am not an inquisitive woman, but when, in the middle of a certain warm night in September, I heard a carriage draw up at the adjourning house and stop, I could not resist the temptation of leaving my bed and taking a peep through the curtains of my window.

I read The Leavenworth Case not too long ago, and loved it. Anna Katharine Green was the forerunner of Agatha Christie, and her less-known mysteries are brilliant. Also in the book that I read is Lost Man's Lane (review coming tomorrow.)

That Affair Next Door is the first mystery starring Amelia Butterworth, an amateur spinster sleuth (much like Christie's Miss Marple). She gets involved in a complicated murder at the house of her rich next door neighbors. Nothing is what it seems in this one, and Butterworth enters into a rivalry with Ebenezer Gryce (the detective in The Leavenworth Case too). I think this one was even more ingenious than The Leavenworth Case, with so many more twists and turns, though both mysteries have them. I like Amelia Butterworth a lot; she's not afraid to voice her opinions, but always knows when to keep quiet.

This mystery is full of intrigues and- always the best- mistaken identity. Is the murdered women really Mrs. Van Burnam, or is she someone else? And who was the other woman? These are the key questions that Butterworth and Gryce must unravel in their own ways. The ending was very surprising, and I only had premonitions at the very end, when it started to be revealed.

That Affair Next Door is set in 1890s New York City (just like The Leavenworth Case), and is overall a much better book (and I gave The Leavenworth Case 5 stars). The writing is way better, and there's a lot less descriptions which makes the book flow better. I loved this mystery.

Read That Affair Next Door:
  • if you like mystery
  • if you like Anna Katharine Green
  • if you like books with female detectives
  • if you like books set in New York City
244 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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