Saturday, August 8, 2020

In the Balance - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  In the Balance (Miss Silver #4) by Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Really Liked it!

Source: Purchased

Description:  Former schoolteacher Miss Maud Silver is on her way back to London when, with a violent shudder of the train, a young woman is thrust into her compartment. She’s beautiful, well dressed, newly married, and wealthy—a lethal combination.

In a state of shock, Lisle Jerningham explains that she fled her home in a hurry after overhearing a sinister conversation. Her new husband’s first wife died in an apparent accident, and the resultant infusion of cash saved his family home. Now, he’s broke again—and attempting to engineer a second convenient mishap. Miss Silver is unsure whether the drama is real or a figment of Lisle’s imagination—but if this frightened young lady is a target for murder, the killer will have to deal with the governess-turned-sleuth first.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  Miss Silver is one of my absolute favorite classic mystery detectives and I'm trying to reread all of the books in her series in order.

My Impression:  This was a rare treat for me as it is a Miss Silver I haven't read.  I think I have a few more since I started focusing on filling up the gaps in my collection only in the last year or so but this is the first one I've gotten too.  It's a very classic style - a rich woman (pretty in the right kind of light/mood) who married a man who doesn't have any money begins to believe her life is in danger.  Luckily for this particular rich woman she stumbles into a train compartment inhabited by Miss Silver.  

There's a beautiful and heavily in debt manor ancestral home, a beautiful, flirty and somewhat sinister cousin, another cousin who is helpful and kind but may be hiding darker motives, and of course a first wife whose accidental death seems highly suspect.  This made for a bit of a nostalgic read in the best possible way.  I don't feel like it had the most surprising end but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy getting to it!  

My main issue with this read and what kept it from being a Loved It! Read is that Miss Silver is at best a side character.  She wasn't even particularly instrumental behind the scenes but more served as a character to kind of verbalize the different theories and how the investigation was developing.  I did love that the lead investigator was one of her former charges.  Governess-mode Miss Silver is pretty much my favorite Miss Silver.    This was a fun read and it was a nice treat to have a new to me Miss Silver.  Next book I'm hoping for more Miss Silver though!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  Wentworth is one of my favorite authors and I love Miss Silver.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy a good classic mystery this is a good read and anytime Miss Silver is in governess mode it has to be a winner!


  1. Thank you for the review and recommendation. I will be looking out for this one.

  2. I have The Dower House on my Kindle but haven't read it yet. So. Many. Books. I hope to read a lot when we go camping.