The mystery hinges on the disappearance of Miss Penhow and how Major Serridge has come to be the landlord of the house she once owned. The unfolding happens as the residents, the people they're related to, and the detective investigating the disappearance all come to be connected. There's a well-evoked dark atmosphere (poverty, unemployment, dirt, violence, black shirts, rotting meat), and the end, when it comes, is unexpected but somehow the only possible one.
I'm usually drawn to more cozy mysteries, but I'm beginning to look for historical settings too, and this one, creepy and suspenseful, was a good departure from the mysteries I usually read.
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