The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon


One summer night in 1930, Judge Joseph Crater steps into a New York City cab and is never heard from again. Behind this great man are three women, each with her own tale to tell: Stella, his fashionable wife, the picture of propriety; Maria, their steadfast maid, indebted to the judge; and Ritzi, his showgirl mistress, willing to seize any chance to break out of the chorus line.

As the twisted truth emerges, Ariel Lawhon’s wickedly entertaining debut mystery transports us into the smoky jazz clubs, the seedy backstage dressing rooms, and the shadowy streets beneath the Art Deco skyline.

My Perspective

This is the twenty-third book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is a fictional story of what really happened to Judge Crater, who disappeared without a trace in 1930. It is from the point of view of the three women who would have known him the most; his wife, his maid and his mistress (as the title suggests).

I didn’t actually know that this story was based on true events, that Judge Crater was a real person who did disappear without a trace. I think I would have had a different mindset while reading it if I had known that.

The story was well written and interesting. It held my attention and the story unfolded at a steady pace.

The three women were all likeable and easy to root for. I did find Stella a bit aggravating at times though. Judge Crater and Owney Madden were extremely unlikeable characters.

I was a little bit disillusioned with the outcome of the story. I felt it fell a bit flat at the end and I was surprised at how obvious everything was both throughout the story as well as how it ended. I was expecting there to be more mystery and it to be a lot less predictable. It’s a bit of a shame because it would have been exceptional had this not let it down.

Overall it was an entertaining read that I would recommend to those who like murder mysteries, however it’s definitely not up there with the Agatha Christie novels.


Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha ChristieBlurb

The Orient Express was unusually full for the time of year. Hercule Poirot sat in the elegant restaurant-car and amused himself by observing his fellow passengers: a Russian princess of great ugliness, a haughty English colonel, an American with a strange glint in his eye . . . and many more. The food and company were most congenial and the little Belgian detective was looking forward to a pleasant journey.

But it was not to be. After a restless night, Poirot awoke to find that tragedy had struck. First, the train had been brought to a standstill by a huge snowdrift. Secondly, a passenger lay dead in his berth – murdered.

My Perspective

Awhile ago I was able to sift through a few boxes of books that my mother-in-law was giving away. One of the books was this one, and even though I’ve read it before, I can’t say no to owning and rereading any Agatha Christie novel!

Murder On The Orient Express is the story of how Hercule Poirot becomes the investigator of a murder that takes place on the train he is travelling on and how he solves it.

I vaguely remembered the story and the ending so things weren’t a huge mystery for me however I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Agatha Christie is a superb author so obviously it was well written with great character development and a clever storyline. I don’t think you can really fault her and to me a review on one of her books is a bit pointless!

Basically it was a fantastic read that I would highly recommend if you like murder mysteries. A classic whodunnit novel.

Blood Line by Lynda La Plante

Blood Line by Lynda La PlanteBlurb

Under the watchful eye of DCS James Langton, DCI Anna Travis takes charge of an investigation for the first time. But is it purely a missing persons case – or a full blown murder enquiry?

Alan Rawlins, devoted son and loving boyfriend, has been reported missing. When Anna begins to investigate, she discovers an intricate web of lies and secrets surrounding the life of this seemingly quiet and studious young man. Inside the flat he shared with his girlfriend, on carpet hidden in their bedroom, is an ominous pool of blood but no body, no overt trace of a struggle, no clues as to his whereabouts.

Could Rawlins have been the victim or, indeed, the killer? Admissible evidence is thin and yet, the more truths Anna discovers, the more complex the case becomes. Langton fears that she is losing control of the investigation; she appears obsessed with irrelevant details as the pressure mounts on her to make an arrest.

With the tension between them rising, Langton is forced to intervene. Only to discover that, in the wake of a devastating tragedy in her own life, Anna’s determination to break open this case knows no bounds . . .

My Perspective

This is the fifth and last (for now) of the books i have read that sweet old man has lent to me.

I must admit that i left this one to last because of a comment my mother-in-law made to me. That Lynda La Plante liked to drag on (or something to that extent). I wondered why her books seem to be so successful if this was, in fact the case.

However I can tell you that this book was not a drag! I read it in two days, comfortably. No staying up until 3AM (although it was tempting as i had the next day off) but nevertheless in two days because it had me hooked. Granted, it was quite detailed, however i don’t think it was too much.

The story follows DCI Anna Travis who is given a missing persons case (of which department she is not a part of) and in her inquiries discovers that it is actually a murder case. However one that is not clear cut as there is no body and no evidence of who the actual victim was. Throughout you are taken on twists and turns, liking and disliking characters and wanting to get to the bottom of it.

I really enjoyed the book however i think the ending was wrapped up too quickly. It wasn’t how the story ended, it was more that the book was quite detailed yet the ending was very quick – almost a summary.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good murder mystery. Obviously there was a little bit of blood etc. in it because it involves a murder however i didn’t find it too much to handle.