Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Thursday Quotables – Forgotten Murder

FORGOTTEN MURDER (Dolores Gordon-Smith) - When an old schoolfriend of mystery writer and investigator Jack Haldean's wife Betty witnesses a disturbing vision in the garden of a smart suburban house, Jack is intrigued. Just what did Jenny Langton see beneath the cedar tree at Saunder's Green that frightened her so much she fainted on the spot?

Poor Bill had quite enough on his plate without Mrs Shilton descending on him like an avenging fury, thought Jack. ‘I’m terribly sorry, Mrs Shilton, but I don’t think you’ll be able to see him. I happen to know he’s engaged for the afternoon.’

‘Engaged?’ Her voice trembled. ‘But I must speak to him! It’s.. It’s…’

Jack felt a stub of sudden sympathy, mingled, he realized, with a twist of embarassment, as her lip quivered and she blinked away tears.

‘Don’t, Mrs Shilton,’ he said, reaching out his hand to hers. ‘Please don’t upset yourself so.’

She took a handkerchief from her handbag and dabbed her eyes. ‘I’m sorry,’ she said, between sniffs. ‘) just can’t bear anyone thinking such horrible things about Michael.’

There was a bench a few yards away, under the shade of a plain tree. ‘Let’s sit down until you feel a bit more yourself, shall we?’ he suggested, taking her arm and gently escorting her to the bench.

‘You’re very kind,’ she managed as they sat down. She took a deep breath and, dubbing her eyes again, scrunched up her handkerchief in her hand.

‘I wish I could convince the police how impossible it is that Michael has done the things they say he’s done. It’s just wrong,’ she added with a resurgence of her old ferocity. ‘Michael is a good, kind man. He was distraught when Caroline went missing. He did everything he could to try and find her. No one who knew him could credit for an instant that he was responsible for her disappearance. Violet Laidlaw was deeply attached to her cousin and she never believed Michael was guilty. She even persuaded her father, old Mr Wild, to put up the money for Michael’s defence.’

‘The case never came to court though,’ said Jack.

‘No, it didn’t. But if it had, old Mr Wild was prepared to foot the bill.’ She heaved a deep sigh. ‘You’d have to have known Mr Wild to realise how remarkable that was. He was very careful with his money. I must say I never cared overly much for Mr Wild. He ruled the household with a rod of iron, but I was grateful to him for promising to help Michael. I like to think that if it had come to court, the truth would have come out and Michael would have been proved innocent. After all, someone must know the truth about what really happened that day.’

‘Whoever wrote the forged letter from Caroline Trevelyan must do,’ said jack thoughtfully.

She turned to him eagerly. ‘You’re right, Mr Haldean.’

‘Tell me, Mrs Shilton, where you there when that letter arrived?’

Thursday Quotables Meme

This is a cold case set in the 1920s and referring to a disappearance (presumed murder) from before the Great War. I found the idea very intriguing and – simple as it may sound – quite unusual. I almost got the impression I was getting two stories, because the events, although separated by only some fifteen years, related to very different times in history. It was a strange, but very rewarding experience.

The mystery itself is after all quite simple. This isn’t one of those novels where the mystery is interesting because it’s clever and unusual. To me it was interesting because it was very logical and rested on solid human reasons. I also loved (but then this is why I like classic mysteries) that the investigation relied on deduction and intuition more than any technicality, though there is a hint at that. It was a nice touch.
Besides, the true strength of the novel is the characters. Jack, the main character and investigator, is such a relatable character. He’s very empathic and it’s obvious that he cares about the people he meets. Still he has a very clear mind and these two seemingly clashing characteristics make him very human and sympathetic. But I appreciated all the cast, though I had a particular sympathy for Mrs Shilton, who seems to be a certain kind of character and it turns out to be completely another and still she made perfect sense, I never had the impression the author was trying to deceive me.

It was a great read. I really enjoyed it.
This is part of a longer series revolving around Jack Haldean, mystery writer and investigator, but it can be read on its own without any problem. There is an obvious central cast of characters who have a history, but we don’t need to know that history to enjoy this story.

In post is part of the Thursday Quotables meme. If you want to discover more about this meme and maybe take part in it, head over to Bookshelf Fantasies

FORGOTTEN MURDER (Dolores Gordon-Smith) - A woman visits an unknown house and has the vision of a murder. Jack Haldean doesn't believe in supernatural apparition, so there must be a resonable explenation for that event


  • Kristin
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 22:53

    Sounds interesting. I don’t read murder mysteries much though.

    • Post Author
      Posted May 15, 2019 at 10:21

      I think that if you enjoy historical fiction, you may appreciate this anyway. Of course the mystery is central, but the characters are also very well cared for (which often isn’t the case in mysteries) and the setting is just fantastic.

Leave a comment

Captcha loading...