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The Grey Room by Eden Phillpotts

The Grey Room  by Eden Phillpotts
  • Author Eden Phillpotts
  • Title The Grey Room
  • Category Literature & Fiction
  • ISBN 1406831034
  • ISBN13 978-1406831030
  • Size PDF 1170 kb
  • Size FB2 1497 kb
  • Size EPUB 1443 kb
  • Publisher Echo Library (September 27, 2006)
  • Language English
  • Rating 4.7
  • Votes 778
  • Pages 136 pages

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The Grey Room by Eden Phillpotts
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The Grey Room by Eden Phillpotts
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The Grey Room by Eden Phillpotts
EPUB version

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Reviews about The Grey Room by Eden Phillpotts

The Plot: During a 1920's house party at the ancestral estate of Sir Walter Lennox, the sordid reputation of the unused Grey Room is a topic of discussion. An ancestor of Sir Walter's died in the room under mysterious circumstances -- although she was in her 80's so how mysterious is that? Years later a robust young woman meets a similar fate, being found in the morning looking peacefully from bed with dead eyes. To debunk the myth one of the house party connives to sleep in the room, and a repetition of the previous death occurs. Sir Walter's nephew talks him into hiring a detective to uncover the truth. But before the truth comes to light a number of other deaths occur.

A Review: I enjoy mysteries with a supernatural twist, so I did enjoy reading this obscure book. The ending was a bit of a let-down, but not unexpectedly. The writing style is pleasant, although there is way too much of dinner conversations that drone on for pages, mostly filled with speculations about the "here-after" and lots of religious clap-trap, since one of the characters is a parson. It's easy to skip over these parts and just read the meat of the story without missing anything.

A note: While I appreciate being able to find this book as reprinted by Kessinger Publishing (other editions I found online from antiquarian booksellers were way too expensive), I am disappointed in the bare-bones presentation. There is no modern introduction to the novel, and not even an original date of publication. In addition, the typesetting is pretty sloppy. There were numerous typos -- many of them where a small u was replaced with a small n, and vice-versa.
I got this free at the Amazon Kindle bookstore. It is definitely a period piece with a setting in an English country house. The cast of characters could have been assembled by Wodehouse, but they aren't funny and the book isn't remotely like any Blandings Castle book you may have read. This is an old fashioned mystery which I did keep reading because I wondered how the mystery would be solved. However I found some herky jerky scene shifts annoying. Occasionally the author engaged in lyrical descriptive passages, and it is a shame there isn't more of this fine writing in the book! There is a missing portions toward the end of the book. The characters are cardboard, there is an awfully lot of confidence in the police, and assumptions just stand there looking stupid. What I found most interesting were the conversations between characters, cardboardy as they were, which told of issues and revealed what people probably were thinking around 1920 in England, especially if they were upper class. I can't recommend this, but it is a harmless diversion and it is free.
This book seemed terribly long, though in fact fairly short. Most of it, after setting up the locked room murders, is spent on alternate theories presented without action or interesting human interaction. The solution is clever.
Eden Phillpotts greatly influenced the writings of Agatha Christie, so if you like her work, you should find Phillpotts' work interesting. The Grey Room takes place at a manor house on Dartmoor. The beginning paragraphs paint the scene beautifully, but, like most British mysteries, the plot and character development are the be-all and end-all of this novel. Slower and dryer than Christie, but an intriguing story. This edition does not identify the fact that The Grey Room was a serial publication and dates to 1920. It was in The Popular Magazine originally.