Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hollow House

From the first sentence; “I decided to use the name Geraldine Brunton” this work of fiction snares the reader and drops them into a convoluted, sometimes bizarre, whirl of adventure. 

Who killed Annie the enterprising Irish maid?  Was old Jamie’s ‘accident’ really an accident?  What’s Mrs. Stubbs hiding except her contraband physician’s tonic and arsenic-laced vitamin pills?

Denver, Colorado, in 1919, was a city ‘bustin’ its britches’ to become civilized after an influx of major money from the silver mining hey-day.  The woman calling herself Mrs. Burnton, was reared and educated in the posh, elite society of New York City.  So, why was she applying for the position of lowly companion to a wealthy widow of a hard-scrabble silver-miner?   Could she survive in a household of suspicious characters, poison, greed, and deranged delusions of grandeur? 

The Hollow House is a delightful read filled with larger-than-life characters, puzzling incidents, and an achingly real story behind the story.   Janis Patterson is a gifted writer who knows how to twist and turn a plot until its revelation surprises even the most practiced reader of mysteries.