Sunday, July 27, 2014

Arrow Pointing Nowhere by Elizabeth Daly

Arrow Pointing Nowhere by Elizabeth Daly is an extremely entertaining vintage mystery.
I just finished Arrow Pointing Nowhere by Elizabeth Daly. This was an interesting tale, with Henry Gamadge receiving a coded message delivered in a suspicious way. A crumpled ball of paper was thrown out of the window off the Fenway's house in New York City, and a suspicious mailman who saw a crumpled ball of paper in the same place every day, picked up the paper. After some investigation, Gamadge figured out that someone was in trouble in the Fenway house, but wasn't able to get out to communicate openly with Gamadge. When Gamadge finagles an invitation to the house, he finds the atmosphere thick with tension. Mr. Blake Fenway admits that a shipment of books had arrived from his country estate, sent by Hilda Grove, the niece of a woman who was a companion to Fenway's disabled sister-in-law, Mrs. Fenway. The book had views, or pictures, of estates, and the one of the original Fenway estate, that had been torn down, was missing. As Gamadge goes to leave, Mr. Mott Fenway, secretly talks Gamadge into coming back later in the evening to secretly look for the missing picture. Mott suspects that Mrs. Fenway's son, Alden, suffering from mental retardation, now intellectual disability, ripped out the picture. They fear that Mott and his niece, and Blake Fenway's daughter, Caroline are suspicious that Alden ripped out the picture, and perhaps killed Caroline's pet dog. Of course, they are also suspicious of Craddock, a young male friend of the Groves, who has been injured in the war, and is taking care of Alden. Gamadge agrees to come back, but first, he heads out to the country to talk to Hilda, under an assumed name. When Gamadge returns to town for his rendezvous at the Fenway house, he arrives to find that Mott Fenway had fallen from his attic room window. Gamadge suspects that Hilda Grove might be in danger, and his associate gets into the country house to find a booby trap set to possibly kill Hilda. There is more murder and surprise before the book ends, and I don't want to ruin the mystery by disclosing too much.

I enjoyed reading Arrow Pointing Nowhere, and i thought the mystery was much stronger than Evidence of Things Seen. Arrow Pointing Nowhere was published in 1944, and there are references to WWII and the shortages in gas and other items. I did not figure out the mystery, and I was surprised at the twist at the end. Unfortunately, I might not get much opportunity to read more Elizabeth Daly, but I will keep my eyes open for her books.

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