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I thought that Miss Silver was going to be a pivotal part of the plot but she barely plays into it. The story was engaging and the narrator, excellent but for me, the focus should have been more on Miss Silver and her sleuthing.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Grey Mask is not like any of the later Miss Silver mysteries. It's the very first (1929) and is complex and implausible to a degree that isn't forgiven in modern thrillers, but obviously was taken in stride in the '20s. Like another reviewer here, I had to start over to figure out what was going on. Unlike a different reviewer, I don't think Miss Silver was "barely there" --- she came in late, as always, after substantial character development early on, and if anything she had a more active, physical role than in any of the other twelve or so of these I've listened to --- she tracked people on the street, she searched a house! Well, she was younger then.
Remember that Miss Marple is not the model for Miss Silver: it was the other way around. Miss Silver was published first, and pretty annoyed Patricia Wentworth was about the "homage" Agatha Christie paid her. Killer character idea, though, as we can clearly see from the fact that both authors succeeded and are still popular, and many are their descendants, informal female detectives right down to the cozies of present time.
Grey Mask is well worth listening to for anyone who follows these easy-listen mysteries, to see how much more sensible Wentworth's plots became, and how much more charmingly predictable and knitterly Miss Silver became. And because ---------- however absurd the plot, it's GOT something. The story has life, you like the characters, you want to know what happens. Miss Silver has staged a revival and that's a good thing for those of us who want a little relaxation reading about an old friend we know well.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
I grew up on Agatha Christie so I like the old style mysteries and it is worth bearing in mind that this was written in 1929. If you love a great deal of blood and gore and a hero or heroine who leaves dead bodies in their wake as they stalk the perpetrator, this is not the book for you. If you enjoy a clear thinking detective who, although surrounded by idiots who insist on stumbling into danger at every available opportunity, solves a puzzle without the benefit of any modern day devices, then this will be right up your alley. I will be getting the next one.