Subtitled “a Melodrama,” this is not typical mystery fare, but the elements are all in place to create a suspenseful and surprising finale. As an orphan, Maud knows she is not the desirable type – with her wispy hair, dirty clothes, and her irrepressible leaning toward rebelliousness – so she is quite shocked when the lovely lady Hyacinth Hawthorne chooses her to be her daughter. Going to live with the Hawthorne sisters is like a dream come true, except Maud notices something strange. Who are these women really, and why do they need to keep Maud a secret from the neighbors? While Maud’s predicament slowly unfolds, readers will be entranced by this sincere character who has more to offer the world than she has been allowed. Readers who enjoy Theodosia or The Aviary should try this haunting tale by Schlitz.
reviewed by Jennifer