This mystery is sure not as complicated as the Ian Rankin I just finished. It’s a nice and easy mystery with better characters than Rankin’s but a light tale.
I like how Rendell played a lot of literary games involving a sheath of various papers in a who’s-got-it fashion. This was written as World War II was well brewing all around her and that influence was evident. The characters involved are all very well written. Especially the dingy Sylvie. I can’t imagine writing someone like her as well as Rendell did. She must have known one just like her. Sylvia added quite a bit of levity to the entire story.
The story is paced well with so much pointing to one as being the bad guy all the while narratively telling us where he really was. Rendell could’ve inverted that effort as someone like Rankin had, but her approach is more realistic and puts the reader in two places at once.
The writing could’ve been stronger at points. Maybe this was a bit rushed. Nevertheless…
Bottom line: i recommend this book. 7 out of ten points.