Saturday, October 29, 2022

The Haunted Lady - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:   The Haunted Lady by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Rating:   Really Liked It!
Source:   Purchased

Description:  It’s enough to stop Eliza Fairbanks’s heart. At least that’s what the elderly widow claims is being done to her. First, someone unleashes a cloud of bats in her locked bedroom. When that doesn’t do the trick, next comes a pack of rats to claw at her toes. Special duty nurse Hilda Adams, aka “Miss Pinkerton” to the Homicide Bureau, believes Eliza’s every rattled fear is true. She may be frail—but she’s not batty.

What Eliza is, is very, very rich. Out of the shady and oddball assortment of relatives swarming the mansion, someone clearly has an eye on the Fairbanks fortune. Now it’s Hilda’s job to keep an eye on Eliza before a potential killer resorts to more definitive means. And considering all the bad blood running through the heart of the Fairbanks family, it might already be too late to save her charge.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been trying to read more classic mystery stories and have really enjoyed the books I've read from Mary Roberts Rinehart

My Impression: This is my first time meeting Hilda Adams but I'm so glad I did!  She's a bit of an American version of Miss Silver or Miss Marple but younger and much more street smart.  She still has the knack of looking like the perfect person to confide in as well as being able to infiltrate private lives in the way a police investigation couldn't.  

In this case Hilda gets sent in because clearly someone is up to no good in the Fairbanks mansion but no one is quite sure just what exactly that no good is.  As well everyone connected with the elderly Eliza Fairbanks is a potential suspect.  As I read I really had no idea of the who or the why but I very much enjoyed following along behind Hilda figuring it out.

The one weakness of this book and all of Rinehart's books that I've read is the ending.  She has beautifully plotted mysteries and she does come up with satisfying logical endings but something about the balance for the reveal is never quite right.  Some factors are really focused on while several aspects I really wanted to know more about just never get fully fleshed out.  That said this is still an entertaining mystery with a good classic feel.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Definitely!  I'm looking forward to reading more from this author already.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy classic mysteries this is definitely an author to try.


  1. It's been so long since I've read a classic mystery, but your review makes me want to try this author.

  2. Ha. A classic author/series I've never heard about! This one does sound really good, sorry to hear the ending disappointed you a bit. Always a bummer.

    Elza Reads

  3. In spite of the problems with the endings, it does sound like a good mystery for those who want some classic reading.

  4. I don't read a lot (well, really any) classics but I might be able to do a classic mystery. I do like the sound of this one.