A young girl is consumed by love for a tortured married man.
Myra has lived at Thorne House for so long that she almost feels part of the family. Orphaned at a young age, she has never known another home, and yet it is time for her to leave. She is burning with an irresistible passion for Richard, the man of the house, and she knows that her love can never be fulfilled. For Richard is married to Alice, and Alice is guilty of murder.
Myra knows that Richard is too noble to ask an incarcerated woman for a divorce, but on the eve of her departure he surprises her, confessing that he loves her in return. Just as Myra's future happiness seems assured, Alice returns to crush it. The convicted killer is back at Thorne House, and blood will follow in her wake.
"A novel in which the love element and the murder mystery are so inextricably entwined that they cannot be considered separately." - The New York Times
"Complex." - The New Yorker
"A star writer." - H. R. F. Keating, author of Crime and Mystery: The 100 Best Books
Mignon G. Eberhart (1899-1996) wrote dozens of mystery novels over nearly sixty years. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, she began writing in high school, swapping English essays with her fellow students in exchange for math homework. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, and in the 1920s began writing fiction in her spare time, publishing her first novel, The Patient in Room 18, in 1929. With the follow-up, While the Patient Slept (1931), she won a §5,000 Scotland Yard Prize, and by the end of the 1930s she was one of the most popular female mystery writers on the planet.
Before Agatha Christie ever published a Miss Marple novel, Eberhart wrote romantic crime fiction with female leads. Eight of her books, including While the Patient Slept and Hasty Wedding (1938), were adapted for film. Elected a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master in 1971, Eberhart continued publishing roughly a book a year until the 1980s. Her final novel, Three Days for Emeralds, was published in 1988.