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Group Reads Archive > The Devil's Rooming House by M. William Phelps

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message 2: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 860 comments Mod
I just re-took this out from the library. I hope to get reading it soon and join in.

message 3: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1268 comments I started it today. Still at the beginning but it looks interesting.

message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary | 3 comments I'm a little over half-way through. The case is interesting, but the writer is meandering all over the place. It's distracting and irritating, lots of information and repeats to cover a rather short distance of information.

message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 257 comments Thanks for that comment, Mary. Now I don't think it is just me who is irritated by the author's style....very repetitive. It seems that a short story was expanded to fit a full length novel so it had to be fleshed out with extraneous information.

message 6: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 860 comments Mod
I'm not quite to the halfway point, but I see some areas where a better editor might have improved things. I also was intrigued to read this book because of the heat wave, which is already over. Not that I expected it to last through the whole book, but I'm going to miss that side of the story now that it's done.

message 7: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Burnett I just picked this up from the library last night. So far, so good. I'm intrigued by the aspect of the heat wave and the reactions to it.

message 8: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 860 comments Mod
I finished this book this weekend and I enjoyed it. I still think it could have used some better editing, and I would have liked more references to what was happening in the outside world, but overall it was interesting.

I wondered as I was reading, though, where did all the money go? She was constantly in debt but also swindling people out of their life savings. What was she spending the money on?

The other thing that I noticed, if you look through the names of the deceased, her sister was among them (not the sister who said she was nuts at the 2nd trial, this sister made no other appearance in the book). Where was that story?? Did she kill her own sister?

message 9: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1268 comments I only just started it this afternoon. But in Chapter 2, I think, Carl is talking about

her possibly having killed these people and then buying flowers for their funerals and purchasing items to keep up her good name, including a pipe organ for the church.

So maybe she spent a lot that way.

message 10: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 860 comments Mod
Ironic, huh? She could have stopped conning and killing people instead of using their money to buy herself a reputation as a good person.

message 11: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1268 comments I finished this today.

I don't think I noticed the sister on the list. Wasn't there a sister, along with a brother, committed?

One thing I didn't like was how through most of the book, the author says James, her first husband, died a mysterious death. We are never given any information as to how he died. (view spoiler)

Also didn't like "spoiler" pictures in the middle of the book. Not all of the pictures had spoilers in them but some of them did. I didn't appreciate finding out what happened to her before we even got to the court case.

But the story was interesting, particularly the discussion of how it relates to "Arsenic and Old Lace" - one of my faves. Had no idea where it all came from.

message 12: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 860 comments Mod
There may have been a sister committed, but there was definitely a sister listed among the dead.

I've found most nonfiction books that have pictures include spoilers, so I have to not look as much as possible.

I've never seen "Arsenic and Old Lace," now I need to.

I really think this book, organized better and without so many loose threads could be a really exciting book. As it was, it was just a good book.

message 13: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1268 comments I enjoyed it but it wasn't as good as it could have been.

I love "Arsenic and Old Lace" with Cary Grant. Josephine Hull plays one of the sisters (part she played on stage). Raymond Massey plays the evil brother (played on stage by Boris Karloff). It is a lot of fun.

message 14: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (FaganLady) | 35 comments Heh! Heh! You people are making this look good - I'll order it in from the library.

message 15: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 257 comments I really feel bad that I seem to be the only person who didn't like this book but variety is the spice of life I guess. To be honest, I didn't even finish it and that is not something I usually do....but I just could not seem to get involved in the story or the style of the author. BTW, I loved "Arsenic and Old Lace".

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Devil's Rooming House: The True Story of America's Deadliest Female Serial Killer (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

M. William Phelps (other topics)