#1929 Club: The Murder on the Enriqueta by Molly Thynne

British author, Molly Thynne had long been on my reading radar but it was a compelling review by my blogging friend, Rekha [Check out her wonderful blog @ The Book Decoder] that finally pushed me into reading her.

When the novel begins, we are aboard The Enriqueta, a luxury-liner, on its way from Buenos Aires to Liverpool. A fellow-passenger Smith however doesn’t share our enjoyment of revelling in luxury, he has lost all that he had at the card-table. Embittered and cursing, he makes his way to his cabin in the dark but loses his way and ends up in somebody else’s cabin who turns out to be an acquaintance. That acquaintance does not like anybody entering the cabin without knocking but even you’ll agree that strangling is a little too much (And why hadn’t the acquaintance locked up the cabin if s/he is to be so fussy?). Anyway, Smith ends up dead. Inspector Shand of the Scotland Yard who had gone to Buenos Aires to catch a counterfeiter only to find that the bird had flown, takes up the case. Clues, however, are few. A steward had seen a figure in green pyjamas and white muffler bending over the corpse but nothing else is known. But then Lady Dalberry, in mourning and accompanying her husband’s corpse back to his estate in England, informs the captain that she had heard somebody dragging what seemed a heavy sack just outside her cabin on the night Smith was murdered. Murder on the Upper Decks! But just when we are thinking whether it is the clergyman or the banker or the American writer who might have done the deed and dreaming about a closed circle of suspects on the high-seas we land with a thump!

The journey comes to an end and we are left following the Dalberry family: Gillie, the new lord, his (sort-of) cousin Carol Summers, and Lady Dalberry who is their Aunt Irma. There is also ex-Scotland Yard Jasper Mellish, Carol’s trustee and guardian because the latter has inherited a large fortune from her father. As she is about to turn 21, there are many people interested in her fortune, especially de Silva, an Argentine friend of Lady Dalberry who tries to ingratiate his way into Carol’s affection even as Gillie proposes to her while all Carol wants is to enjoy her independence when she ceases to be a ward of Mellish.

The usual distrust of the foreigner is present in this book. Lady Dalberry – Swede but domiciled in Argentina – arouses antagonistic feelings in almost everyone. Her friend de Silva is presented as the usual Latin lothario. The British, even the most despicable like de Silva’s employee Bond (I really am having a tough time remembering the first names of the characters and am too sleepy to check) have some modicum of decency. But my main problem with the book was the character of Carol. She dislikes her aunt, hates the attentions of de Silva yet persists in staying with her aunt even when Mellish and Gillie both ask her to get out of her aunt’s flat. She exasperated me so much that I felt no sympathy for her.

While the twist in the end came as no surprise to me, the tension of the last chapters was very well depicted. Chapter 20 especially had me very aware that I was reading the book in the dark while being all alone in the house. So, yes I’ll be reading more of Molly Thynne.

*

First Line: The Enriqueta was a new boat with her reputation still in the making and, so far, luck had been on her side.

Publication Details: 1929. London: Dean Street Press, 2016

Introduction: Curtis Evans

Alternate Title: The Strangler

More on this cover @ The Passing Tramp

Pages: 257

Other Opinions: The Book Decoder, A Crime is Afoot, Mysteries Ahoy!, The Passing Tramp, Window through Time,

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18 thoughts on “#1929 Club: The Murder on the Enriqueta by Molly Thynne

  1. Ah! You were talking about Carol of this book. (From your prev comment.) I was thinking of Carol from The Man in the Queue (I had a hard time remembering Carol… maybe there wasn’t anyone of that name in Man in the Queue.) I suppose this is what happens when I over-read. 😂😂
    Speaking of Carol, I agree with you. I couldn’t understand why she did not walk out when she had the chance. The final twist sealed the deal for me. Until we were told of the ‘identities’, I did not realize they were never together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It happens to me too, Rekha and now I am wondering what was the name of the young woman in Scotland in Tey’s book. Was it Carol too? Anyway, I was talking of this Carol who seems to act totally dumb. The twist was no big deal but the tension was.

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      1. Is your reticence character or plot based? I see from previous comments that one character in particular irked you😜. I’m usually ok with characters that I don’t like (or don’t understand). It may lessen the enjoyment but not to the point of avoiding reading the book.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Laurie, it’s basically both. The plot seemed far-fatched and the characters uninteresting. What saved the book, for me, was the tension of the last few chapters. You mentioned that you have read a few of hers that you liked, which ones?

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Sorry! Getting all of my authors mixed up! I haven’t read Harriet Hall yet. I have read The Case of Sir Adam Braid and really enjoyed it.

                Have I confused you enough for today ☺️?

                Liked by 1 person

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