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Miss or Mrs?

Wilkie Collins

Book Overview: 

Natalie Graybrooke is in love with her cousin Launcelot Linzie, but engaged to Mr. Turlington, an older man who covets her fortune and whom she detests. Turlington is the executor of Natalie's father's estate. When Natalie secretly marries her cousin, Turlington arranges to have Natalie's father murdered, to gain control of his fortune.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Of the two, however, the stewardess, as a woman, was the more likely to lend a ready ear to Launce's entreaties in his present emergency. After a faint show of resistance, she consented, not only to leave the room, but to keep her husband out of it, on the understanding that it was not to be occupied for more than ten minutes. Launce made the signal to Natalie at one door, while the stewardess went out by the other. In a moment more the lovers were united in a private room. Is it necessary to say in what language the proceedings were opened? Surely not! There is an inarticulate language of the lips in use on these occasions in which we are all proficient, though we sometimes forget it in later life. Natalie seated herself on a locker. The tea, sugar, and spices were at her back, a side of bacon swung over her head, and a net full of lemons dangled before her face. It might not be roomy, but it was snug and comfortable.

"Suppose they call for the steward?" she s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

MISS OR MRS? (1871). Wilkie Collins. ***.
This short novel was one of three included in an edition published by the Oxford World’s Classics. It is typical of the serialized versions of many of Collins’s efforts, and on the whole is interesting. It addresses the issue of marriage for love vs. marri...more

I love Wilkie Collins! Although not as good as "The Woman in White" or "The Moonstone," these short stories are great psychological thrillers/mysteries. Creepy, suspenseful, and each one so different from the last. Collins' writing style does take some adjusting to, but his books are fabulous rea...more

3.5 Stars

This was my first time reading Wilkie Collins. It’s something I’ve intended to do for years and simply never got round to, so when one of my groups suggested we do a group read of The Haunted Hotel I dusted my copy off and eagerly got down to it. Although not quite what I was expecting a...more

This collection of Wilkie Collins novellas was somewhat uneven. I am crazy about many of his books - The Moonstone, The Woman in White, and Armadale chief among them. I liked the title piece quite a bit...included many of Collins's signature touches. But the whole thing felt kind of rushed. The s...more

Miss or Mrs?
A thriller/sensational story: Richard Turlington falls in love with his best friend Sir Joseph's daughter, Natalie. Natalie is in love with her cousin and close friend, Launce. Turlington is accustomed to getting what he wants. The secret lovers devise a scheme to prevent Turlington f...more

Five stars for these 3 novellas by Wilkie Collins, because they all showcase the author's great talent for creating mood, mystery, and suspense within a (relatively) compressed scope. Though the genre (short "sensation" fiction) has its limitations and predictable elements, there's no lack of int...more

Wilkie, himself, described these stories as "outlines".
They were not as compelling as his "full" novels and, since they were not meant to give great detail, sometimes felt "rushed" in regards to "loose ends".

Here are my ratings of each:

Miss or Mrs? 3 stars [ I think this would make a good telepla...more

Wilkie is (was) a pre-eminant Victorian author. I've read two of his best known books (Moonstone and Woman in White and a runner-up, No Name. He is a master storyteller and these three novellas did him justice. I have to wonder, though, if the sometimes seeming absurdity of the plots were actuall...more

A grouping of three novellas by Wilkie Collins first published between 1871 and 1886, so I expected some differences in style as a result. To me, the strongest story was the first and the weakest was the last. Miss or Mrs? (1871) was short enough to force an impressive pace to the plot. The Haunt...more

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