Mary Roberts Rinehart’s K blends romance and mystery so satisfactorily that the unlikely plot coincidences aren’t noticeable until after the novel is back on its shelf.
K by Mary Roberts Rinehart
1915 bestseller #5. Project Gutenberg EBook #9931. My grade B.
When their circumstances fall below genteel poverty level, the Page women take in borders.
Newlyweds Christine and Palmer Howe move into what had been the Page’s parlor and back sitting room.
Mr. K. LeMoyne puts his suitcase in what had been daughter Sidney’s bedroom.
Sidney is in training as a nurse, which will eventually bring in a good, steady income.
She finds surgeon Max Wilson very attractive.
Joe Drummond, who loves Sidney, is frantic. He knows the surgeon’s reputation with women and fears the worst if Dr. Max takes an interest in her.
K settles comfortably into the neighborhood, falls silently in love with Sidney, and becomes the man everyone goes to with their troubles.
Who is K?
How did he come by his wealth of knowledge?
Why does nurse Carlotta Harrison fear K so much she risks offending Dr. Max to avoid him?
Rinehart produces answers, lets all the characters learn from their experiences, and pulls everything together so that everyone lives less unhappily ever after.
For boarding-house operators, less unhappily is as good as it gets.
© 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni