The Fingerprint

The Fingerprint
by Patricia Wentworth
Series: Miss Silver #30
Publication Date: January 1, 1956
Pages: 375
Rating: ★★★½
Genre: Crime, Mystery

When she found the body of her beloved Uncle Jonathan, Georgina’s mind went blank. Instinctively, she stooped to pick up the revolver, thus becoming the prime suspect. For Georgina stood to inherit a large fortune when her uncle died. But Uncle Jonathan had a second secret will and the beneficiary is the wide-eyed, seemingly innocent Mirrie Fields.

But there was also the puzzle of the missing fingerprint. It was the showpiece of Uncle Jonathan’s collection and he enjoyed telling the story of how he had acquired it from a self-confessed murderer, who was still at large. When the old man was shot, the print had been torn from its album.

Was the missing fingerprint the clue to the murderer’s identity? Maud Silver is determined to find out.

Halloween Bingo may be over for another year but I really wanted to keep going. I had not read many of my usual go-to authors for the game this year so really fancied a Miss Silver mystery.

This one was really interesting for various reasons:

  1. I don’t know whether Miss Silver simply was not coughing as much or whether I just managed to ignore it, but it certainly didn’t irritate me as much as in previous books.
  2. There were several elements that reminded me of Christie’s plots – most notably those of Sad Cypress and Towards Zero – but without it feeling like a bad copy of a better book. I really did not mind the similarities I saw. If anything, I was intrigued how Wentworth would handle similar scenarios. And for what it is worth, Wentworth treats her female characters different from Christie in the sense that Wentworth’s stories feel more romance-y, and that in itself was interesting to watch unfold.

I’m keeping my eyes peeled if I can use this book for any of the upcoming Christmas Tasks, so far it does not fit, but one never knows that the other book tasks will look like.