And here is some music for reading, or so the video claims.
And here is my new little monster. He's a tiny T-Rex disguised as an adorable Quaker parrot.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was excited to stumble across another Roy Vickers while visiting a marvelous old Opera House that has been converted into an independent bookstore in a town just north of Dallas. I eagerly devoured this book in a couple of sittings, which is sad because now I'm done. Kind of when you have only so many chocolate covered espresso beans and you know you should savor them but you can't stop yourself from gorging on them.
The plot very simply is this: A man, Mr. Clovering, is the sole survivor of a group that floated away from a ship wreck and landed on a desert island. In the beginning there were seven of them, including Clovering, but by the time rescue came Mr. Clovering is the only one left alive.
What happened to the rest of them? Thus begins a tale, as told by Clovering's diary where he recorded each day he was on the island, filled with mystery and suspense. I know that is vague and can be applied to any story, but I do not want to ruin any surprises for any potential readers out there.
Therefore you will have to settle for my subjective descriptive phrases. Clovering's diary gives us an account of how the group got to the island, learned to survive on the island and how each man, barring Clovering, died. It kept me guessing until the very end, which was about one of the most unexpected endings I've read for a long time.
When one reaches the conclusion, he or she is going to want to start over again in order to understand what was actually going on.
View all my reviews
The Kynsard Affair by Roy Vickers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Simply superb plot and mystery. I had no idea who did it until the author finally chose to reveal the murderer at the very end.
This story, like The Sole Survivor, are not like Vickers' short stories where the reader knows immediately who did it. This ran along like the normal murder mystery.
A man is hanged for murdering his wife, after witnessing the execution, a constable leaves the building to find a car parked just outside. While unusual, this is not disturbing, until the constable peers inside of the car to see the battered remains of a naked woman.
Who is she? Why has she been murdered, and does it signify that she is not wearing clothes?
All the questions are answered one at a time.
First the woman must be identified. The car is traced and found to belong to Betsy Trotwood. Can that be her real name? Did her parents really name her after a Dickens' character?
However, her description fits another woman: Barbara Kynsard. In fact, an attorney, Arthur Kynsard has reported his wife missing and she fits the description of the murdered woman. Kynsard goes to forensics and identifies the dead woman as his wife, and, even though all he sees is her battered face, he tells the doctor and the inspector that his wife also has a scar on her chest. This seems to re-enforce the fact that the woman is Kynsard's wife. They had seen the scar on the body.
So now we know who the murdered woman is (it is obvious she was murdered, one does not accidentally get their face bashed in with something that was obviously a mallet or such).
Or do we?
Another man, a Mr. Flanch, arrives at the department to identify the woman. His girlfriend has been missing and she fits the description in the paper. He also identifies the woman and also mentions the scar, even though he only sees the face as did Mr. Kynsard.
What's going on here? Are there two women, a Betsy and a Barbara? Or is it possible that Mrs. Kynsard was leading a double life?
Inspector Turley does not know which is the case so he decides to conduct the investigations as if both possibilities were true. He sends one detective off to gather information as if Barbara Kynsard was murdered and Betsy Trotwood, or whatever her real name is, is missing and he sends another detective off to investigate as if they were the same woman.
I really had no idea what the truth was until Vickers chose to reveal it in the end, and, unlike some mystery writers (which annoys me no end), he builds up to a logical conclusion.
I had no idea who the murderer was either. While reading we find out the more than one person had a motive to murder Barbara, or Betsy, depending on who that person is.
An excellent story told well. I read it in two sittings and was sorry it was done.
View all my reviews