by Ethel Lina White
Possibly because this was White’s first published mystery novel, Put Out the Light isn’t quite on par with her later, more-polished works like The Lady Vanishes and The Spiral Staircase (my reviews of them here and here).
But White does create one truly memorable villain in “Anthea Vine.” Vain, scornful, and sharp as a tack, the wealthy spinster (White’s word, not mine) personifies a 1930s career woman who evokes either empathy or disdain — depending on your perspective, I suppose.
The plot: Anthea rules stately Jamaica Court, where cohabitating relatives and visiting sycophants all kiss her butt in hopes of finding favor in her will.
But someone doesn’t want to wait for Anthea to die of natural causes. And then … whodunit?
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