Saturday, April 18, 2020

Grey Mask - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Grey Mask (Miss Silver #1) By Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source: Purchased

Description:  After Charles was jilted at the altar by Margaret, he discovers that she is mixed up in a vicious kidnapping plot masterminded by a sinister figure in a grey mask. Charles turns to Miss Silver to uncover the strange truth behind Margaret's complicity, and the identity of the terrifying and mysterious individual behind the grey mask.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been wanting to do a Wentworth reread so I thought I'd start with the first Miss Silver.

My Impression:  I decided to do a chronological reread of the Miss Silver mysteries.  I'm not sure I've even read all of them so I'm excited to be diving into them now.  So right off the bat I have to state that this is not one of my favorites.  Miss Silver is barely in it and when she is she's not quite full blown Miss Silver.  And while Margaret and Charles are charming but they're not full Wentworth level of charm and while the mystery was good it too wasn't quite up to the level I expect from Wentworth.

This was published in 1929 and was Wentworth's first Miss Silver book and I think that shows in multiple ways.  The first is that Wentworth uses a shadowy society trope which seems to have been incredibly popular during the 20s (think Agatha Christie's Big Four and The Secret of Chimneys and The Seven Dials etc). As well I don't feel like Wentworth was fully confident in her voice yet and restrained herself a bit more then she does in future books.

It's still a good read with a solid mystery but comes off a bit flat and lacks some of Wenthworth's usual sparkle.  This is Miss Silver at about 75%.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author:  I would and I'm really looking forward to reading more Miss Silver books soon.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would definitely recommend this series and this author - especially to classic mystery fans but just keep in mind that this isn't necessarily the strongest in the series.


  1. I don't know if I'd choose this book to start with, but I am curious about this author. I love classic mysteries.

  2. You have got me so interested in this series. I really need to it to my library wish list. I've been doing, for about a year now, series reads/rereads. I finished two, and I'm almost done with my My Miss Fisher read/reread. Then, I have some more to start! LOL Sorry this one wasn't as strong as later books but as you said, Wentworth was probably still developing her voice.

  3. I love seeing an author develop, particularly when you get into a series. This looks interesting, and yes, those secret societies were popular!

  4. I look forward to giving this author a try.

  5. You are very good about reading books from any year. I can balk at seeing the publication date of a book because I know its content may be dated.

  6. I have not read this author but I hope to someday. I really enjoy seeing the evolution of authors and their characters.