Here I tried to tackle the classic missing woman-of-mystery tale and infuse it with a bit of Gothic novel (defined as: “Young girl experiences strange happenings in extremely large house.”) Some moron reviewing for the New York Times detested the book and savaged it as “thin gruel.” Ruth Rendell, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century wrote me an unsolicited letter telling me how much she loved it and that it was more than a great crime novel, it was a great novel. I chose to focus on the comments of Baroness Rendell, though I never publicized them. The book took a significant leap in sales.

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