Samuel Rutherford Crockett
genre - Mystery (with gothic tendencies)
my rating - 3 out of 5 stars
The story is told in the first person by a young man. His name is Joe Yarrow, who is "a big fellow and getting on for seventeen." The author did a very good job of making this boy appealing. His attitude, witty asides, charm and down-to-earthiness kept the story from getting too dark.
Before school starts that morning, Joe has gone to his girlfriend's house to talk to her. He describes Elsie as "ever such a nice girl", "pretty, but not set up about it", "a tallish slip of a girl, who walked like a boy, a first-rate whistler, and a good jumper at a ditch." Elsie opens a front window to talk to Joe. They hadn't gotten far into a conversation when Elsie points at something over Joe's shoulder. "Do look - what's that?" It's the village postman's wagon, without a driver and splattered with blood. The postman is missing, along with the mail bags and parcels he would have picked up that morning. It's a mystery.
Soon there are more missing people, hidden tunnels, a minister's secrets, kidnapping, mobs, two irritating girls from London, and madness.
I had a hard time deciding on my rating. Although I enjoyed the story, it didn't keep my attention. And the author did tend to go off on long tangents.
About the author -