As expected, The Blue Diamond (1925) was another convoluted mystery with too many characters, missing heirs, a jewel heist, ridiculous romantic entanglements, fainting women and a ghost.
I have no doubt that Haynes looked to Wilkie Collins when she wrote The Blue Diamond, and I thought she did rather well with that. Except, I am not a fan Collins’ writing which I remember as equally dramatically overblown (especially in the romance department).
As with some of Haynes’ better mysteries, the amosphere was wonderfully Victorian. I know Haynes wrote these mysteries in the 1920s, but there is nothing modern about them. I have a hunch that she was not one to shake off her Victorian upbringing and that she probably appealed to quite a wide readership in her lifetime that was equally raised on Victorian mores and felt uncomfortable with the Bright Young Things and their modern mysteries.
And kudos to Haynes for doing that. I may not love her mysteries as much as the Golden Age ones that follower her work but I do enjoy reading what the mystery genre had to offer in the time between Holmes and Poirot, and I think I will always have a soft spot for Haynes for that reason.
I have one more of her books to read, but I’m saving that one for when I next need a predictable story with great atmosphere to distract me.