Rae Foley – The Hundredth Door (1950)

DBC cover

Golden Age
Category: Author You’ve Never Read Before
Date Finished: September 7, 2015

I have two other Rae Foley mysteries in other Detective Book Club volumes, but had not read any before. This one gets mis-categorized online as a Gothic Romance or a Cozy Mystery, but, of course, these are insults. Foley seems to have written later Gothic novels, and a 1970s era reprinting of this gives it a cover in that style, but this is really a country house mystery. A family, including a long separated young woman who is set to inherit everything, is reunited for Christmas in a secluded country house, which becomes even more secluded as a blizzard prevents them from leaving. Luckily, one of the guests has brought along lawyer and master amateur detective John Harland. This is the second of three mysteries by Foley featuring Harland. He is somewhat austere and characterless, but is also a contrast to the emotions and characters in this family. The reveal happens somewhat suddenly, as a character panics, and without any master detection by Harland. The capture is more as a result of Harland’s work, but not by much. The writing, setting and characters are competent, so it is a shame to be let down by this anti-climactic ending. Still it captured the interest enough to be read in a day and allowed me to completely finish my golden age bingo card. Yay.

Vintage Golden Card 2015-09-07

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