Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: A Hat
Date Finished: May 29, 2017
Follow the Clues step #32: from Swordfish to Dolphin
Well, this is often categorized as a Gothic romance, but it does revolve around a couple of deaths under mysterious circumstances. My version also appeared as a third of a Detective Book Club volume.
Set in a New England whaling community in the 1840s, a poor, young woman, daughter of a servant, marries a wealthy older man. He dies under mysterious circumstances and she has to manage her new wealth while a couple of dashing captains of whaling ships compete for her attention, including during a long voyage to the South Pacific. A second death eventually leads to the murderer’s revelation.
Well written enough, the subjugation of the mystery to the romance elements led me to avoid picking this up again for several days after starting it. Other than the 1840s setting, this novel fits in much more with the female romantic suspense mysteries of the 1940s-1960s than with the Gothic romance trend of the 1970s.