by Ethel Lina White
Alfred Hitchcock came to Hollywood’s attention when, two years after the publication of this book (originally titled The Wheel Spins), he helmed a 1938 film adaptation called The Lady Vanishes. Hitchcock’s movie was a hit, and it’s easy to see why he was attracted to White’s story: Its young heroine becomes aware of a crime, yet she can’t seem to convince anyone else; most of the action takes place aboard a train, and Hitchcock devotees are aware of his fondness for that venue (Strangers on a Train, North by Northwest, etc.). It’s a romantic thriller with humor. Need I say more?
The plot: A young British woman meets a kindly spinster named “Miss Froy” while they are both traveling home to England. But when the nondescript Froy goes missing, no one else on the train seems to recall her. Is our heroine hallucinating? Is villainy afoot?
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