The Listening House (Paperback)
Down and out in the Depression, Gwynne Dacres moves into a seedy and sinister boarding house, where she exposes deadly secrets in this classic mystery by Mabel Seeley
After losing her copywriting job, young Gwynne Dacres seeks a place to live when she stumbles upon Mrs. Garr's old boarding house. Despite the gruff landlady and an assortment of shifty tenants, Gwynne rents a room for herself. She spends her first few nights at 593 Trent Street tensely awake, the house creaking and groaning as if listening to everything that happens behind its closed doors.
A chain of chilling events leads to the gruesome discovery of a mutilated body in the basement kitchen, dead of unknown circumstances. Was it an accident or murder? Under the red-black brick façade of the old house on Trent Street, Gwynne uncovers a myriad of secrets, blackmail, corruption, and clues of a wicked past. As she closes in on the truth, the cold, pale hands of death reach for Gwynne in the night…
About the Author
One of the most popular American crime writers of the 20th century, Mabel Seeley was known as “The Mistress of Mystery.” Critically acclaimed titles like The Listening House (1938), The Crying Sisters (1939), and the Mystery of the Year awarded The Chuckling Fingers (1941) have placed her stories and characters alongside those of Agatha Christie, Dorthy Sayers, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Amongst her many accolades and awards, Seeley was most proud of her service as the first director of the Mystery Writers of America. Born on March 25, 1903 in Herman, Minnesota, Mabel Seeley is best known for crime novels featuring female detectives who defied the stereotypes of the time as self-reliant and strong-willed Midwestern heroines.
Praise for The Listening House
“What a find! I’m so happy to have discovered Mabel Seeley. You will love her feisty heroine and the delightful cast of characters who live in the mysterious Listening House. I changed my mind a dozen times about who I thought the killer was, but I was wrong every time!”—Victoria Thompson, USA Today bestselling author of Murder on Wall Street
"Like her tenacious heroine, Seeley’s writing showcases intelligence and a razor-sharp wit. This exceptional reissue is certain to win Seeley a whole new generation of fans."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The Listening House is a corking good mystery abuzz with bon mots, snappy comebacks and sexual tension, calling to mind the best screwball comedies of the 1930s. With her novels, Seeley introduced early examples of self-reliant female sleuths, and Gwynne is a paragon: she more than matches wits with the men working the case."—Shelf Awareness
"Miss Seeley is to be welcomed as a very promising author of detective fiction."—Times Literary Supplement
"Miss Seeley, with a good story to tell, ingenious plot and counter-plot, character diverse and clearly seen, lifts her book into the first class."—Observer
"Blood-curdling . . . especially good."—Saturday Review of Literature
"The Crime Club have discovered a genius in Mabel Seeley. The author’s style is unusual: she tells her story in natural everyday language, but she puts it 'right over'—and what a climax!"—Manchester Evening News
"So packed with weird thrills that it grips from first page to last . . . should take its place as one of the best thrillers of the season."—National Newsagent