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236 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1949
"Because this is just what a nightmare is. Walking about among people you know, looking in their faces- and suddenly the faces change- and it's not someone you know any longer- it's a stranger- a cruel stranger...."
‘it’s just a stage set. a background to play scenes against.’ she looked at me. ‘you realize, don’t you, what we’ve just been doing? act ii -- the family conclave. it didn’t mean a thing. there was nothing to talk about, nothing to discuss. it’s all settled -- finished.’
“they looked like a portrait by gainsborough. they sat together on the sofa -- the dark, handsome boy with a sullen expression on his face, and beside him, one arm thrust out along the back of the sofa, sat magda, the duchess of three gables in a picture gown of taffetas with one small foot in a brocaded slipper thrust out in front of her.”magda, sophia’s mother, was definitely one of my favorites as a terribly overly-dramatic stage actress always looking to spice up the scene. her other children, eustace and josephine, are two darkly morbid siblings with a callous sort of interest in their grandfather’s murder that makes it fun to hear their observations on the subject.