Saturday, September 11, 2021

The Chuckling Fingers - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Chuckling Fingers by Mabel Seeley

Rating: Liked It!
Source:  Publisher

Description:  An urgent note from a friend spurs Ann Gay to visit her recently married cousin, Jacqueline Heaton. Upon her arrival at Fiddler's Fingers, a remote, pine-grown estate on Lake Superior, Ann immediately senses her cousin's fear—someone has been playing increasingly malicious tricks on the Heatons, a proud family of Minnesota lumber tycoons, and worse yet, they seem determined to frame Jacqueline.

Ann quickly resolves to take Jacqueline and her young daughter, Toby, away from the danger. But what began as seemingly trivial pranks—ruined clothes, a burnt bed, a smashed boat—escalates to direct attacks and ultimately murder. Dangerous waters crash against the finger-like rocks on the lakeshore, making a sound like a guttural chuckle, one that seems to mock the murder that took place there—but no one is laughing when everyone on the estate becomes a suspect. Potential motives are revealed as Ann learns more about the Heaton family, and with no chance of anyone leaving Fiddler's Fingers until the killer is caught, Ann realizes that the only way to prove her cousin's innocence is by snaring the murderer herself.

The trap is set; with herself as bait, Ann's door creaks open in the night as a cloaked figure moves silently toward her bed....

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I love classic mysteries but don't read many American authors so I'm excited about the chance to read more of this author's work.

My Impression:  This one reminded me a bit of The Crying Child by Barbara Michaels for some reason.  I think it was the atmosphere of extreme paranoia and unreliable witnesses as well as the strong bond between two female characters as when it really comes down to it the books have nothing in common plot wise.  I enjoyed this one quite a bit.  As with most books in the classic American mystery genre the book is a bit slower paced with details and plot points carefully layered in.  

I really liked Ann as a main character here.  When she realizes that something hinky is going on her first reaction is to bundle up her cousin and daughter and get out of dodge.  She doesn't know what's going on but she does know she doesn't want any part of it and fully believes in her cousin's sanity.  After the first body falls and they have to stay put she works just as hard to prove her innocence.

This is the second book I've read by Seeley and I have really enjoyed both of them.  I liked the bond between Ann and Jacqueline and was really invested in finding out just what was going on.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm so glad I have discovered this author and her 

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy slower paced mysteries with sinister atmosphere I think you'd really enjoy this one.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. This author is new to me. The book sounds good and the title made me chuckle :)

  2. The title grabbed my attention, thanks for sharing your thoughts

  3. I really like it when there is a great bond between some characters, whether mystery or not. Good you have found an author to read more of.

  4. I'm not familiar with Seeley at all, but this does sound intriguing. My first reaction to the title was "fingers can't chuckle!" so thank you for explaining the title's origin.

  5. I must read more classic mysteries!