Monday, May 5, 2014
Dead or Alive by Patricia Wentworth
Robin O'Hara never deserved his wife, Meg. He was unfaithful and involved in work that was just a little bit dangerous. When Meg reaches her limits and wants a divorce, Robin disappears and is presumed dead. Shortly after, Meg starts receiving messages that gives her the idea that Robin may not be dead after all. When former beau, Bill Coverdale, comes back to London he is intent on winning Meg for himself. He just has to deal with her fears about her missing husband, a crazy group of kidnappers, and save her from having her body dumped into a remote lake, never to be seen again.
For some odd reason, it took me forever to read this book. I would pick it up, read a few pages, then put it down again. I'm not sure if it was the book, or if it was I wasn't in the mood to read it. Actually I'm not sure if I was in the mood to read anything other than gay romance, when I picked this book up. I was convinced I would like it, so I kept slogging through, never giving up on Bill and Meg.
About half way through, I started to get into the rhythm of the book. I was able to to relax and allow myself to truly enjoy the author's writing and her characterization. It wasn't the most complex of mysteries, and a astute reader can figure it out midway through, but it was still engaging and interesting. And maybe if I hand't halfway fallen in love with Bill, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did, but he is one of the most interesting characters to come along in Golden Age mysteries.
Not even sure I could fully explain my affection for him, at least not to the extent he deserves. He's a man's man; masculine, self assure, reliable, and sexy as can be. But he is still what I would consider a man of today, not the typical man of the era. He is vulnerable, in touch with his emotional side, and isn't afraid to put a woman's needs before his own.
This was only the second Patricia Wentworth mystery that I had read, the first being Miss Silver Comes to Stay. When I picked this one up, I wasn't aware that it wasn't going to be a Miss Silver mystery, and it was nice to see another side of her writing. I think I have one or tow more of her books waiting around to be read, and I'm looking forward to it.