Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (thoughts)

How had I never heard of the awesomeness that is Mary Roberts Rinehart??  The Circular Staircase was one of the first books I downloaded for free onto my Kindle, and I only grabbed it because the author was compared to Anna Katherine Green whom wrote The Leavenworth Case (a book that I enjoyed when I read it last year).  After reading The Circular Staircase I've downloaded every single book by this author that I can get my hands on.  I want more! 

The Circular Staircase begins with Rachel Innes deciding to spend the summer in the country with her nephew and niece.  Little does she know that renting Sunnyside for the summer will mean murder, mystery, and intrigue.  For mysterious happenings are going on at Sunnyside and Rachel instantly finds herself a part of them.  Rachel is a great main character to be narrating the story because of her dry sense of humor.  I found myself laughing out loud at various points in the story thanks to her opinions and musings on everything that was happening.  In fact, being able to laugh at the story while still being intrigued by the mystery was one of my favorite parts of the book!  I find more and more that I love classic mysteries like this because the authors know how to spin a good tale without lots of blood and gore.  Instead Rinehart created a mystery filled with atmosphere and tension as the reader wondered what could possibly be going on at the house.  It made for a great read that left me wanting more!  My only issue with this book is something that goes more along with the time period that the book was written.  The book does have some racial undertones in it but if you take in consideration when it was written then it makes more sense as to why the author included these viewpoint into the story.  I didn't care for it but obviously I wasn't born in this time period either.  Anyways....

Overall a really, really good read and a book that I enjoyed WAY more than I expected to.  Just writing up my thoughts on this book makes me want to try more by her or grab up something by Agatha Christie.  If you are ever looking for a gothic mystery novel then I think you should give this one a try.  Just don't expect to be surprised by the ending.  That part I could see coming from a mile away but luckily it didn't matter because I was enjoying the book too much.  Highly recommended especially to mystery fans!

Bottom Line:  One of those books that instantly makes you add the author to your must read list!

Disclosure:  This was a book I downloaded for free onto my Kindle thru Amazon. 


  1. Oh goody! I have this on my shelves and I've been meaning and meaning to read it. It sounds like just the thing for a fall evening.

  2. The dark side of Sunnyside....

    Sam, I'm glad you enjoyed this gothic mystery novel--great review! I'd like to read more mysteries in the future.

  3. Wow, I've never heard of this author before. Sounds great. I do like Agatha Christie. Nice review!

  4. Jenny- It was such a fun read which I'll admit was a bit unexpected. I can't wait to read more by this author! I find that I'm drawn to old mysteries like these :)

    Suko- I would love to find the time to read more mysteries as well. Especially after reading a book like this!

    Naida- I'm a huge Agatha Christie fan! I have a goal of eventually reading all of the books that she has written but there are so many. It's gonna take awhile. LOL!


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