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The Circular Staircase
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Group Read Discussions > April 2019 Group Read (Spoiler Thread): The Circular Staircase, by Mary Roberts Rinehart

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message 1: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8609 comments Mod
If you read ahead and you just can't wait to comment, feel free to do so here. Spoil away!!!


message 3: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen | 24 comments I loved this! This was my first time reading this author and I'm interested to see what else she has written. The relationship between Rachel and Liddy was perfect, and the rest of the cast of characters were wonderful. The mystery kept me guessing the whole time.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 1192 comments I also was kept guessing! I think it was great fun!


message 5: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8609 comments Mod
Jen wrote: "I loved this! This was my first time reading this author and I'm interested to see what else she has written. The relationship between Rachel and Liddy was perfect, and the rest of the cast of char..."

Jen, and April, I'm so happy you enjoyed it! It is great fun.


message 6: by MissLemon (last edited Apr 09, 2019 05:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MissLemon  (misslemon) | 252 comments I really enjoyed this book! Miss Rachel is almost like a Jane Austen heroine in her wit and resourcefulness. When I started reading I kept forgetting it was such an old book, the writing felt modern so it was like reading a historical novel.

(view spoiler)

I would have given this 5 stars but I felt the end was a bit rushed and 'tidy'. I was enjoying Rachel's company and her relationship with Liddy and the Inspector and was left a little bereft at our sudden goodbyes

Thank you Nancy


Chris | 238 comments Just finished & thoroughly enjoyed it! Her first detective novel & it propelled her to prominence & I can see why! A lot going on, but it was pretty well paced, despite some narration that was superfluous.
In the other thread, people noted what would now be racist stereotypes & comments. Abhorrent as they are today, taken in the context of the times & as few as they are; they did not take away from my reading enjoyment.
When Alex was revealed, I was taken aback at that. Can you really look SO different by shaving a moustache, new haircut & different clothes to not be recognized at close and frequent quarters by Rachel. That was a little unbelievable for me.
I read that this book started the "Had I but known" school of mystery writing.


Patty | 2765 comments I finished the book last night. Very satisfying. All the girls got their boy, including Rosie.

I had thought that the stranger in the house who helped Miss Innes when she collapsed was Halsey (was Alex and Gertrude). I wrongfully deduced that after the train accident, Halsey returned to the house so he he could investigate and protect without anyone suspecting him.

I’d also wrongly made Lucien the son of first Paul Armstrong, and then Dr. Walker, making Nina the mother.


message 9: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8609 comments Mod
Finished! That was a hell of a lot of fun. The only thing I'd guessed correctly was that Paul Armstrong wasn't dead. I love when that happens!!


message 10: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8609 comments Mod
Carolyn wrote: "I really enjoyed this book! Miss Rachel is almost like a Jane Austen heroine in her wit and resourcefulness. When I started reading I kept forgetting it was such an old book, the writing felt moder..."

You're welcome, although I only suggested it -- others voted for it and made it happen.


Jan C (woeisme) | 35432 comments Nancy wrote: "Finished! That was a hell of a lot of fun. The only thing I'd guessed correctly was that Paul Armstrong wasn't dead. I love when that happens!!"

That's great!


message 12: by Suzy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 652 comments I mentioned in the other thread that after a lot of impatience with the book in the first parts, I ended up really enjoying this. I wish I had gotten the fact that this was published first as a serial - I think that would have made me more accepting of the constant recaps of what Rachel knew. I also figured out that Paul Armstrong wasn't dead early on, but not much else. I just eased into it and went along for the ride. I loved Rinehart's sense of humor and fun sprinkled throughout the book. Not sure I'll read anything else by her, but this was a good selection for our group. Have loved the conversation.


message 13: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8609 comments Mod
Her The Man in Lower Ten is pretty good, and The Album is my favorite of hers that I've read. In that one, the bodies pile up quickly.


message 14: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8609 comments Mod
Suzy wrote: "I mentioned in the other thread that after a lot of impatience with the book in the first parts, I ended up really enjoying this. I wish I had gotten the fact that this was published first as a ser..."

That's why I don't adhere to the "x-page" rule. Sometimes you just have to go along for the ride before you get to the good stuff.


message 15: by Suzy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 652 comments Nancy wrote: "Suzy wrote: "I mentioned in the other thread that after a lot of impatience with the book in the first parts, I ended up really enjoying this. I wish I had gotten the fact that this was published f..."

Yes, which I might not have done if not for the lively group conversation!


message 16: by Suki (last edited May 07, 2019 02:01AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 44 comments This was a reread for me, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. I find that I prefer the Golden Age mysteries to most of the modern mystery writers, and Rinehart is a writer that I particularly enjoy.

Nancy, I found it interesting that you mentioned Nancy Drew on the other thread, because I think that the cover of my edition was maybe inspired by the Nancy Drew books: The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart . The back cover has all three stories of floor plans for Sunnyside, and I enjoyed having them to refer to as I was reading.


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