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Miss Maitland Private Secretary

Geraldine Bonner

Book Overview: 

Semi-retired sleuth Molly Morgenthau Babbitts goes undercover as a governess to investigate a robbery at the aristocratic Janney mansion on Long Island. Before Molly can crack the case, a more shocking crime is perpetrated and more mysteries develop, presenting a baffling jumble of clues for Molly to unravel. At the center of the intrigue is Esther Maitland, the family's competent but mysterious private secretary. What is she hiding? Is she really as trustworthy as the family believes she is?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .rm, and bent to the moss at her feet:

"Oh, wait a minute—How exciting! I've found something."

She raised herself, illumined by the radiance, a small object that showed a golden glint in her hand. Then her voice came deprecating, disappointed:

"Oh, what a fraud! I thought it was a ring."

On her palm lay what looked like a heavy enameled ring. Ferguson took it up; it was of paper, a cigar band embossed in red and gold.

"Umph," he said, dropping it back, "I don't wonder you were fooled."

"It was right there on the moss shining in the moonlight. I thought I'd found something wonderful." She touched it with a careful finger. "It's new and perfectly dry. It's only been here since the storm."

"Some man taking a short cut through the woods. Better not tell Mrs. Janney, she doesn't like trespassers."

She held i. . . Read More

Community Reviews

You can tell this is from the Golden Age of mysteries. Very complex mystery that is well executed. This is my first book by this author. I will be looking up more of her work. Be aware that there are some terms used that would be considered racist by today's reader.

I didn't realize till I began reading that this book features the spunky heroine of Bonner's The Girl at Central again, this time in a supporting capacity. If she doesn't shine quite as brightly this time it's only because she gets to narrate only about half of the time, and it's not really her stor

A pleasant period piece

Not particularly distinguished, but a nice diversion. I did wince at some casual racism and anti-Semitism, as is typical with mysteries of the '20s.

I really enjoyed this story and the writing style. The author is obviously from another era, but very refreshing to read.

The Janney family is a wealthy one - the older couple are discreet and polite. Their daughter is arrogant and shallow. The daughter's marriage has broken up and it is an unpleasant scene when Chapman Price leaves.

The story builds up with threatening letters, and then a robbery - a big one which for

Mystery/romance interesting twists. Classically non offensive. Well narrated (Holly Jensen) and recommended.

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