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The House by the Lock

A. M. Williamson

Book Overview: 

What secrets lay within the walls of the house by the lock? What secrets, if any, are held by the man who owns that mysterious house?

A body is found in a backwater creek not far from the house by the lock, but what leads Noel Stanton on a quest to determine who the killer might be is more than merely the disappearance of his American friend Harvey Farnham. He has reason to believe that the wealthy and influential owner of the house, Carson Wildred, might somehow be implicated in the coincidental disappearance and murder. But as Stanton’s search progresses, he learns that his friend is safe and sound back in the U.S. and he therefore must learn more about the house itself with its peculiar construction, it’s hidden passageways, and the peculiar smoke occasionally seen rising from its inaccessible areas. But everything is accounted for by the police, the servants, and Mr. Wildred during his investigation, leaving a most strange mystery left for Stanton to unravel.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I had fancied that the square, squat wall must be that of a studio, as there were no windows, but a high, domed skylight on top. Now I saw that though the outer building was square, the room within was octagon in shape. It was, perhaps, a studio, as I had fancied, but there was something of the free-and-easy negligence of an Oriental smoking-room about it.

The walls were hung with embroidered Indian materials, and a low divan ran down part way. Between the hangings were panels of sandal-wood, ornamented with bits of mirror in the Burmese fashion, and half hidden with curious foreign weapons, daggers, swords, and spears, and even a Zulu assegai or two. On the floor stood a hookah, and on a small inlaid table were a couple of curious little objects which I knew to be opium pipes. In one 42 corner, as though it had been pushed aside, stood an easel with a canvas upon it, which was half covered with a piece of drapery. The skylight was partly concealed with . . . Read More

Community Reviews

'The House by the Lock' is, for its time (it was published in 1899), a good, if frightfully melodramatic mystery novel, complete with creepy house, evil underlings of an evil master, a strong explorer-type hero and a suitably beautiful, exploited, helpless heroine. (Why she is exploited and helpless

“The House by the Lock” is a decent story. The main character falls in love at first sight with a sweet and beautiful orphaned heiress. Even though she seems to have a tender interest in him, she lets him know, that for reasons she dare not reveal, she must marry a man she does not even like, and he

Not so much a mystery, more of a thriller crossed with a howdunnit, all told in the expected rather florid late-Victorian prose that you either like or you don't. Reviewers of the day sometimes described Alice Muriel Williamson -- although her books were often published as collaborations with her hu

A cold-blooded murder...an investigation spanning 2 continents ...overall a good read

A decent fun read to listen to but nothing amazingly special. It's a classic gothic tale and definitely not what I thought it would be. That being said despite the rather dull narrator I was still compelled to finish it. It was in its own way an enjoyable listen. The twists and turn were fun and the

I love when everything comes together by the end; all questions answered! But, if course, make you wait--at least I didn't figure it all out on my own!

Another novel by a turn of the century author, a woman. I like Ms. Williamson's books. They're good stories that are easy to read and take you back to another era. For me they're just fun reads.

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