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Anthony Gilbert

The Spinster's Secret

Collins Crime Club 1946

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MISS MARTIN, a seventy-four-year-old spinster of small means and delicate health, finds her chief interest in sitting at the window of her single room in Kensington and watching the passers-by. One day her attention is caught by a little girl, called Pamela, whom subsequently she gets to know. It is obvious that this child comes from a comfortable home, where she appears to be in the care of a guardian and a charming young governess called Terry. A little later Miss Martin is taken ill, removed to hospital and finally sent to an old ladies' home outside London, Here she is very lonely, but one day, again watching from the window, she sees the crocodile of children from the Destitute Children's Orphanage coming down the street, and to her amazement and horror she recognises Pamela. When she tries to make inquiries, however, she is repulsed on all sides and assured that she is mistaken. Profoundly dissatisfied with this explanation the old lady continues her efforts, hindered by both matrons and her unsympathetic niece Doreen Blake. Finally, she takes a leap in -the dark and gets in touch with Mr. Crook, to whom she unfolds her story. Crook, feeling that this is a new line of country, makes some inquiries, and eventually unearths a most exciting plot involving murder, attempted murder, abduction and fraud.

Anthony Gilbert


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