Sunday, September 11, 2016
The Door by Mary Roberts Rinehart
Synopsis From Back Cover:
How little you know about the people who are closest to you... This is what ran through Elizabeth Bell's mind on the night of April 18th. Sara Gittings, the family nurse, had just been brutally murdered. And all thoughts of a homicidal maniac running amok were banished when the evidence revealed that Sarah had know and trusted her murderer.
Who would have anything against timid, sweet Sarah? But as Elizabeth Bell was about to discover, her staid and orderly household harbored more than one suspect with a motive - and, unfortunately, more than one victim.
It's been a long time since I've read a Mary Roberts Rinehart book, so I felt it was long over due. For the most part, it was simply that I had run out of "new" books at the used bookstore. Every time I went in, I would check for them, but ones I hadn't seen before stopped showing up. When I found The Door, I jumped for joy, went home and put the book away. It then languished on the shelves for almost a year, and while I would think about it, I would get busy with something else. The one time I did pick it up, it wasn't holding my attention so I put it away, and didn't pick it up again until another bazillion months had passed. I picked it up once again, not that long ago, and while it still wasn't holding my attention, I forced myself to persevere and get it done.
I'm really not sure why I didn't get into this one as much as I have most of her other books. The mystery itself was well plotted out, the characters were engaging, and the tension was thick enough that a power saw would have been needed to cut it in half. Elizabeth was a hoot to read, and I loved how involved she got into he whole thing, including the destroying of evidence, so I can't lay the blame at her feet. I'm kind of at a loss to explain why this one didn't do it for me. Maybe the pacing was a little slower than the previous books. Maybe the weighing sense of claustrophobia that I've enjoyed with some of her other works, wasn't as present in this one. Maybe I just didn't like the title and that fact it takes most of the book to understand where it came from. I don't know, I'm kinda of grasping at straws here.
And I don't want to leave you with the feeling I didn't like it, because by the time it was over, I did. It's not my favorite and I probably won't read it again, but it will stick around collecting dust for years to come. Much in the way I feel about Agatha Christie's work, I would still put this one up against most of the cozy, cookie cutter stuff being written today. I just wouldn't put it up against my favorite Rinehart books.