“Lonesome Road” is one of the British mystery novels featuring Miss Silver and is written by Patricia Wentworth. Maud Silver is one of many fictional elderly spinsters who have a talent for solving crimes. Miss Silver is a little different in that she actually is a professional private detective while her fictional peers are usually amateurs who stumble across a murder.
This novel was published initially in 1939 and is written by a Brit, so one has to endure the somewhat slow pace and style of writing common for that era. I did appreciate that Miss Silver appears pretty quickly in this one. It was apparently common practice for the detective to not appear until well into the book, and the other novels featuring Miss Silver tended to follow suit.
It takes place, as expected, in an isolated country house where a young heiress suspects that someone is trying to kill her. There are a variety of shady relatives and servants to consider as the potential culprit. I found some of the attempts on her life to be odd and a little inefficient. There were efforts such as an over polished stairstep and a couple of snakes appearing in her bed. There is a somewhat surprising explanations for some of these methods, but it still just struck me as being somewhat improbable. Someone did try to shove her over a cliff, which is a little better effort, but still seems rather cliché.
Wentworth is a talented writer and has likely earned the popularity in her time, but Miss Silver still appears to be a little bland and humorless as a character. I found this to be only of mild interest for the most part. I still will likely continue to try some of the other novels in this series since I have them. They are not entirely without some charm in spite of the criticisms.
I will next see what Sam Siciliano does with a better known fictional detective as Sherlock Holmes solves the problem of “The Devil and the Four”.