Saturday, June 18, 2016

Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon

Mystery in White 
J. Jefferson Farjeon
  • Series: British Library Crime Classics
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • 3/5 stars

Mystery in White (originally published in 1937) takes place Christmas Eve in rural England.  A train becomes stuck in a snowdrift, and an ill assorted group of passengers decide to attempt a walk to another station.  Due to the blinding the snow, they find themselves lost, and stumble upon a well-lit house with warm fires, tea on the table and no one around.

I enjoyed how Farjeon built up the story, and I liked the characters tremendously.  Watching as they began to get to know each other and share their stories was fun, and the uncertainty of when the mystery was going to occur was a pleasant tension. When it final came, though, the mystery itself was weak and the solution relied too much on the talents of Mr. Maltby of the Royal Psychical Society and not enough on actual deduction.

That said, Farjeon's style was appealing and I'd like to read another of his books to see if the mystery aspect of the story improves.  If it does, combined with his excellent story-telling, I would expect it to be worthy of five stars.  This one gets a three, as most of the novel was a great read that the let-down wasn't a deal-breaker.

Note: This is just my opinion; 44% of the reviews are 5 stars.

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