Saturday, August 26, 2023

Outrageous Fortune - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Outrageous Fortune by Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Liked It! (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Purchased

Description:  A man is in a hospital in Sussex. He was shipwrecked when the Alice Aiden, the coastal boat heading to Glasgow encountered a thick fog. This man lost his memory, he can’t say who he is but keeps talking in his sleep about a Jim Randall or Jim Riddel. The nurses advertise on the radio that a man named Jim Randall or Jim Riddel has been found; if anyone knows him, they can pick him up. Nesta Riddel hears the message and decides to go and fetch him, especially when she realizes that he relentlessly mentions the eight emeralds that she and her accomplice Jim Riddel have stolen from the rich New-Yorker Elmer van Berg. The robbery has been making the headlines for a few weeks as Elmer was shot by the thief and is in a coma. A few days after the injured man has left the hospital with Nesta, Caroline shows up there, explaining she thinks the man could be her cousin Jim Randal.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm reading all the Patricia Wentworth stand alone mysteries that I have been collecting for years.    

My Impression:  This was a bit of madness.  I love Patricia Wentworth's writing style and I love her characters and that held true here.  Unfortunately, the plotting was a bit all over the place which made it a bit hard to follow or to believe.  

I like Caroline and I really like that she doesn't settle for the first answer.  When she feels like something isn't right she definitely doesn't give up until she gets all it figured out.  Her roommate makes a good side kick as she is completely uninterested in Caroline's drama and completely caught up in her own romance.  She made me laugh with all her over analyzing.  

Jim is a bit harder to get to know - partly because he's not exactly sure who he is or what he's done and what he does remember doesn't make him look particularly good.  There's a lot of missing pieces and incoherent pieces that need to be put together to figure out just who exactly Jim is and what he did in the days missing from his memory. 

I did enjoy figuring out the base mystery but do feel like it could have been plotted out a bit better.  There were quite a few times where my mind went "Now what now?" which is not what you want while reading a mystery.  Patricia Wentworth is still one of my favorite authors but I'm beginning not to trust her stand alones quite as much as I do her Miss Silver books.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Of course!  While this wasn't my favorite I do love Wentworth's writing style and characters.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Probably not unless you're already a Wentworth fan.


  1. That sounds like a crazy plot. I have enjoyed some Wentworth but havne't tried this one. Will skip it.

  2. I haven't tried Wentworth but I've been watching the reviews. I think I might like some of her books.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  3. Not sure if this is for me, I'm not much for series if there's more than a few already published.

  4. And you are a Wentworth fan so totally right for you. And so well analysed as well to the good and not so good aspects.

  5. Haven't read any of the books. Too bad this one didn't match the others.

  6. Sorry that you didn't like this one as much as you like her Miss Silver books. I do hope to read her work someday.

  7. I have loved all the Wentworth covers. ☺