Saturday, February 18, 2017

Nothing Can Rescue Me by Elizabeth Daly

Wealthy Florence Mason had decided to write a novel and work on it  had progressed until it appeared that some one or some thing was inserting sentences into her draft of the novel. These were ominous sayings such as THOU ART BUT DEAD; IF THOU HAVE ANY GRACE, PRAY and WHATSOEVER NOISE YE HEAR, COME NOT UNTO ME, FOR NOTHING CAN RESCUE ME.

Florence's nephew, Sylvanus Hutter, came to Henry Gamage, bibliophile and amateur detective, asking for help in finding who was doing this. He asked Gamage to come to Florence's estate, Underhill, to meet the people in Florence's life. Gamage agreed to come for a weekend, but he could not spare more time because he was doing war work.

Gamage had already met Florence's husband, Tim Mason. They had recently married. Florence was 51 and Mason was quite a bit younger. At Underhill, Gamage met Miss Wing who was Florence's secretary and the most likely person to have inserted the strange bits into the text of the novel which she was typing, but Florence seemed to trust her implicitly. Also present were Sally Deeds and Susie Burt who had failed in the secretary job and had been replaced by Miss Wing. Also there was a young man, Percy, who was quite good looking, a reader, and who did something in advertising.

Money, of course, is the cause of a great many murders. Nahum Hutter had made millions and he left his money to Florence and Sylvanus to be used during their lifetime. Presumably they were receiving the income from the principle. When one of them died, the other would receive the principal to spend as they wished. Florence had made a will with bequests to Sally Deeds, Susie Burt, and her husband, with the rest of the millions and Underhill to go to her secretary, Miss Wing whom she said was the only person who had really liked her. Corinne Hutter, the local librarian, was at Underhill that day. She was distant relative who would not benefit from the will, because she said that she did not want anything.

Gamage arrived at Underhill and scanned the contents of the library. He identified the quotes which had been added to the rough draft of the novel. These quotes were all from books in the library, so that anyone at Underhill could have added them. He interviewed all of the residents. Then the whole affair took a new turn when Sylvanus Hutter was murdered in the library. He had been struck over the head with a statue. Now Florence Mason was in control of millions of dollars. Gamage saw that Florence was now in great danger from all the people at Underhill who would benefit from her will. Another murder will follow before Gamage determines who was committing the crimes.

This book was published in 1943. It is currently available as a paperback and as on e-book. I have read this book for the 2017 Golden Mystery Cover Scavenger Hunt in the category of a book with a statue on the cover.




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